Flamingo Mixed Media Painting

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I love flamingos, they’re such cool birds to watch. It took some time but I was able to finish my pink flamingo. There are lots of layers and texture in this 6×12″ painting. When I first started, I had no idea that a flamingo would end up here, but there she is. And she is my first 😊

Now I need to give this painting a title. Would love to hear your ideas. The ones I have so far are pretty nerdy πŸ˜‚ So your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The photos below are a progression of this painting. I probably should have taken more but I really get into the creation process once I start and don’t always think about the photography part. But I hope she inspires you in some way.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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A few interesting Flamingo facts:

  • The word flamingo comes from the Spanish and Latin word flamenco which means fire.
  • There are 6 species of flamingos in the world.
  • Chicks are born either gray or white and take 3 years to get their beautiful pink colors.
  • Chicks are born with a straight bill which curves as they age.
  • Adult flamingos hold their bill upside down when eating.
  • Flamingo colors range from pink, orange to red.
  • Their color comes from the carotene in the food they eat.
  • Flamingos can up to 5 feet tall but most are about 3 feet.

Thoughtful Thursday One Step at a Time

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

It’s hard to believe today is already December 1st and year is almost over. This is the perfect time to give some thought to the coming new year. As human beings we have the incredible ability to see the end result of something before we even get started. So where do you see yourself in a year from now or 5 years from now?

It’s so important that you envision where you want to be because you’re going to end up somewhere in the next year or the next five but the question is where will you end up? Are you going to spin in circles with no aiming point or are you going to make your dreams a reality? The choice is yours so pave your path to the future you want for yourself. Start by acting as though what you desire is already yours. This will help you envision it more clearly so it will become your reality.

All of your thoughts, actions and decisions have brought you to where you are today. But to get to the future you envision for yourself, you most likely need to make changes. They don’t have to be drastic but start with 1 thing that will bring you closer to your dream. Keep doing that 1 thing everyday until it becomes a habit. Then change 1 more thing and repeat the process.

Before you know it, you’ll be 10 steps closer to your vision. And if you reach your destination and decide it’s not for you or you have a change of heart along the way, then change your path and envision something new. Remember anything is possible but you must take that first step so life can give you the opportunities and circumstances to make your visions, your reality.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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New Ornaments

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I really love the spirit of Christmas and making others smile, it warms the heart 😊 I’ve been very busy getting the last of the ornaments and paintings up in my Etsy Shop in time for the holidays!

What warms your heart during the holiday season?

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Happy Thanksgiving!

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Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

Time seems to fly by faster and faster because Thanksgiving is here once more. Hopefully you’re able to slow down a bit and enjoy this special holiday. Take the time to really savor the intimate moments with family and friends and create some special memories.

I want to thank you for your continued love and support and for joining me on this creative journey! It really means a lot to me πŸ’–πŸ’–

Wishing you a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Family Art Journaling

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With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I thought I’d share these special journal pages with you. They were created by my family 😊

It was a fun time talking and laughing as we passed the journal around. The idea was that each person takes a turn drawing a line in the journal. You keep passing it around and adding more lines until it’s mostly filled up. It’s pretty funny to see the images that emerge from all the random lines. You can add some color if you like and you’ll end up with a fun family art journal that you can keep as a memento for your special day.

Hope this inspires you to create some fun memories this Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Book Review – Grace Notes by Alexandra Stoddard

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Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

With this year coming to an end, faster than I’d like I thought I’d share this book review with you. It’s written by Alexandra Stoddard and is titled “Grace Notes.” In this book Alexandra offers 365 daily meditations of grace, one for each day of the year. So with January 1st fast approaching now is a good time to get the book so you can start the new year off on a positive note.

The book is beautifully written with inspiring words of encouragement, love and grace. She even gives you a few lines at the bottom of each day to write you own thoughts if you like. Alexandra also includes with each day famous inspirational quotes and her own personal insights. You can find Grace Notes on Amazon where you can also preview a few sample pages to get a better idea of what the book is really like.

With as crazy as things have become, this is simply a nice way to start each day. It’s a gentle reminder of how to live life with grace. I highly recommend this book!

I hope you enjoyed this book review, thanks for stopping by!!!

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Santa’s Workshop

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Photo by Hunt on Photos Studio on Pexels.com

I’ve been busy in Santa’s Workshop making new Christmas Ornaments. Some of the designs were more time consuming than anticipated but I thought the end result was worth it.

I still have a few finishing touches but what do you think so far?

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Hope

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hurricanes are not to be taken lightly. They can cause loss of property and life. The state of Florida was hit by Hurricane Ian on 9/30/22, and it caused mass destruction across the state. Now Hurricane Nicole has caused even more. Nicole missed us thank goodness but the east coast of Florida, north of us was battered by winds, flooding and King Tides. King Tides are the highest possible tides in a calendar year and that only compounded the already serious issues caused by the hurricane.

I’ve been watching the news and am horrified to see homes in Daytona that are literally crumbling and being washed out to sea. The devastation is terrible and breaks your heart. One resident, a widow had lived in her home for over 30 years and thought she was in her forever home. But sadly her home is now uninhabitable.

I wish I had something happy to share with you today but I’m at a loss of words I guess. I can’t imagine how these people must feel at this time. My thoughts and prayers to go out to all affected by these storms.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new.” ~Socrates

Owl Mixed Media Art

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Juliette Crane a very talented artist who creates visually stunning whimsical and ever so magical paintings. I love her work!

Juliette is presently offering a free online workshop on her website JulietteCrane.com. So needless to say, I couldn’t resist! It’s a quick owl painting that takes about 30 minutes and is lots of fun. She peaked my interest with some new supplies that I will definitely be getting and exploring with.

Thought my little owl turned out pretty magical, what do you think?

Hope your having a great day and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Angel Journal Covers

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Many of you followed me on my art adventure as I filled this journal with angel paintings. I love painting them because they give me a sense of peace, an inner harmony. With as crazy as the world has become, when I sit down to paint one of these angels, my outer world simply disappears and I drift into a place of complete joy.

I was happy and sad when I filled the journal because I knew it was time to start something new. I wanted the covers to reflect the love and magic these paintings exude. It took a little bit of time but I was finally able to create some pretty cool covers for the journal.

Now for the hard part of sending this journal off to Stampington in the hopes that it will be published in their Art Journaling Magazine, wish me luck 🀞

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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“Every great move forward in your life begins with a leap of faith, a step into the unknown.” ~Brian Tracy

Thoughtful Thursday Fall Essential Oil Blends

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Photo by Ioana Motoc on Pexels.com

Living in the South you don’t get to enjoy a lot of the autumn colors and scents so I’m always looking for ways to bring the warmth of the season into my home. One of my favorite ways is to use a diffuser and add drops of essential oils to make some of the most tantalizing autumn scents.

The fragrant oils can affect your mood and give you a sense of complete joy and harmony. They may even bring back some wonderful memories. There are a lot of premixed synthetic oils but most are full with harmful chemicals. Plus many people can’t tolerate them and that’s why essential oils are great because they’re natural.

These are a few fall diffuser blends I found online. If you don’t have a diffuser I would recommend buying one. You can check out the websites below for recommendations or Amazon has plenty to choose from with reviews to help you find the best one. But don’t go crazy buying lots of essential oils. Pick 1 or 2 blends from the choices below and start with that to see what you like. Let me know how it goes.

Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by!!

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EssentialOilHaven.com gives recommendations for oils and diffusers.

CountryHillCottage.com gives easy ideas and recipes for living well.

TheOilDropper.com has useful information on using essential oils.

Words of Wisdom by Winston Churchill

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I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend so I didn’t get much done in the studio so I thought it would be fun to share some encouraging words by Winston Churchill:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Really love this quote. It gives you the power to persevere just when you’re thinking about giving up.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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New Abstract – Grow a little love

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This is a new abstract I finished this week. It’s painted on an 8×8 inch wood panel. It took quite a bit of time to complete. The textured background is what made it hard but then a heart emerged. I guess it was a labor of love.

I was thinking of titling this one “Grow a little love” but wasn’t sure. What do you think? Any ideas for a title?

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Jack-O-Lanterns

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Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

I always wonder how things got started and who started them. With Halloween approaching in just a few days I thought it would be fun to learn about jack-o-lanterns.

The term jack-o-lantern started in Britain in the 17th century. At the time it was common for the British to call a person Jack when they didn’t know his name. So now we know where the “Jack” part of the term came from but what about the o-latern?

The o-lantern term was also commonly used in the 17th century to refer to a man carrying a lantern or a night watchman. And since they may not have known his name the term jack-o-lantern was born. But how did we go from the term jack-o-lantern to carving a pumpkin for Halloween?

Well there are quite a few theories on that. One is it was a Celtic pagan practice to carve out turnips or some other type of root vegetable and then illuminate it to ward off evil spirits. The custom was then carried on by Christians during the feast of All Hallows Eve.

Another more creepy theory is centered around an Irish folklore. There are several versions of this folklore but they all have certain common elements like a man named Jack, the devil and an illuminated turnip with which Jack’s soul aimlessly wanders the earth.

But here in the states during the 19th century, young kids who liked pranks would carve a grotesque face out of a readily available pumpkin to scare unwary people. Eventually this prank became known as jack-o-lantern. Today this has became a widely used and artistic tradition by many for Halloween.

Which is your favorite theory?

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

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A work in progress

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I wanted to share with you today a little about my process. When I start paintings I don’t usually have a plan other than adding texture to the canvas. Normally, I just let things unfold and follow my intuition.

This was a 20×20 painting I started a while ago and it sat because well, nothing was coming to me. I would look at it as I walked by and my mind was blank. But that’s okay because sometimes that’s just how it goes and it’s part of the process.

I guess what I didn’t like was some of the greenish colors that emerged when I painted it. Over the weekend however, I added bits of color and liked where it was going. Now I’m working on adding shapes and more color. The slides below will show the progress of this painting so far. It’s still not finished so stay tuned to see where it ends up…..

Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Stephanee Ann Art

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“I’ll be outside” by Stephanee Ann Art

Last Sunday I was surprised to find the Las Olas Art Festival in Fort Lauderdale, FL was open. I love attending art festivals to get inspired and see what other artists are creating.

At the festival I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanee Ann a local artist from Fort Myer and I fell in love with her beautiful painting titled “I’ll be outside.” Her use of bright fun colors and whimsical style makes her paintings happy and uplifting and that’s what I loved about this one.

This 20×20″ painting ended up coming home with me and it puts a smile on my face every time I look at it 😊 If you’d like to see more of Stephanee Ann’s work, visit her web page at StephaneeAnnArt.com. You’ll be able to view her gallery and get her contact information if you want a painting of your own. Stephanee Ann can also be found on Instagram at @stephaneeann_

Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Bird Rescue

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It’s funny but you would think all the birds in our neighborhood have our address memorized. Whether they’re hungry, thirsty or need help, they know exactly where to go.

Last Saturday, hubby came home and saw something odd in the street in front of our house. When he took a closer, he saw it was a young bird, a fledgling. You could tell he wasn’t doing well because he was slumped over. It was getting dark so we put him in a box in the garage till morning because the rescue center had already closed for the day and mama bird was nowhere to be found.

We tried giving him some water but he refused so we just kept him safe for the night. First thing Sunday morning, we took him to the South Florida Wildlife Center where they rescue over 10,000 animals every year.

I couldn’t figure out what kind of bird he was. I’ve seen these birds a lot on my walks and the adults are gray with a bit of brown and a black patch on the head. They have pointy beaks and are everywhere here.

After searching the internet I finally found a bird that looked like him. It was a gray catbird.

Apparently these guys make a call that sounds like a cat’s meow and thus their name. They are masters at mimicking the calls of other birds and are known for singing beautiful songs. Sometimes they sing for as long as 10 minutes at a time. Very impressive!

I found this short video on Youtube that gives some pretty interesting facts about these birds.

I called the Wildlife Center to check up on the little guy and they confirmed he was indeed a gray catbird. They did everything they could but sadly weren’t able to save him πŸ˜₯

I was really saddened by the news because I had high hopes. We gave it our best effort and sometimes that’s just how it goes. That’s life I guess. I will say that I keep my eye out for these catbirds on my walks and really appreciate their beautiful songs even more.

I hope that you get to enjoy these beautiful birds in your neighborhood too. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!!

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I am… Mini Mixed Media Art Journal

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I finally finished my handmade 3″ x 4.5″ mini watercolor, mixed media art journal. I filled it with uplifting and powerful “I am…” quotes so I affectionately titled this journal, “I am…”

My favorite pages are the Frida Kahlo quote “I am my own muse…” I love the bright colors 😊 What are your favorites?

I hope you enjoying your weekend, thanks for stopping by!!

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I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be… Mini Art Journal

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These are the last 2 pages in my mini 3″ x 4.5″ watercolor mixed media art journal. I added a great quote by Diane Von Furstenberg:

“I did not know what I wanted to do but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.”

Have an amazing weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Yellow Crested Night Heron

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Yellow Crested Night Heron Fledging

I was very blessed this spring to watch these beautiful birds make their nests high up in the oak trees that line our streets. A few years ago we started with only 1 nest and now we’re up to 5 nests in all. As I went on my daily walks, I was eagerly watching each nest as babies began showing their heads one by one. These new birds have now taken up residence in our neighborhood and I see them often by the lakes.

When they were very young we would come home at night to see them walking in the middle of the street. I guess they were still trying to figure it all out. They would even visit me in our backyard every now and then.

These herons forage for food at dusk and into the night. However, you may also see them foraging during the day. They tend to walk slowly on land or in shallow water and will sometimes stand completely still waiting for dinner to come to them.

Yellow Crested Night Herons are primarily found in the Southeastern parts of the United States. Adult herons will lay anywhere from 2-8 blue-green eggs in a nest. Both parents will incubate the eggs for 21-25 days. Once the eggs hatch it’s up to both parents to feed the babies. They haven’t been studied enough so there is no data as to when they take flight and leave the nest. Fully grown they measure 1 ft 10 in to 2 ft 4 in. They are simply beautiful and amazing to watch.

I hope your enjoyed this little snippet about the Yellow Crested Night Herons and are able to see some. These are some of the photos I was lucky to get on my walks.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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“Beyond even the darkest clouds the wide, open blue sky goes on forever. Trust, let go, and allow yourself to take flight. So fly! Only then can you soar.” ~Martta Karol

John Adams Words of Wisdom Abstract Art

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Today I thought I’d share a motivational quote with you today by John Adams on one of my abstract paintings:

“Courage and perseverance have a magic talisman before which difficulties and obstacles vanish into thin air.”

These are encouraging and uplifting words of wisdom to live by. Hope this inspires you in some way today!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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I am what I am Mini Art Journal

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I hope your weekend is off to a good start! I’ve been working in my mini 3″ x 4.5″ journal. I have 2 more pages to go and then it will be finished. I found this inspiring quote by Eleanor Roosevelt and thought it was a good fit for this journal:

“I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Vegan Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

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Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite treats for Thanksgiving but that only comes once a year. So to get into the spirit of Autumn sooner I love making pumpkin smoothies.

When you slowly sip this savory drink bursting with flavors of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg you can’t help but to sit back and take a moment to truly enjoy the season. This recipe is very easy to make and is super delicious! I always try to use organic ingredients when they’re available.

Pumpkin Smoothie

  • 1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Can Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Small Ripe Banana
  • 3 Tbsp Organic Rolled Oats
  • 2 Organic Pitted Dates
  • 1.25 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 heaping tsp Ginger
  • 1/8 heaping tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 C Ice
  • 1/2 Hass Avocado (optional) *

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Top with sprinkled cinnamon and enjoy! (Makes about 2 glasses)

* Note: If you prefer a thicker, creamier smoothie the avocados do the trick. They have a mild flavor and give you more of a milkshake consistency. But I would try it first without the avocado because you can always add it later, it should be thick enough without it πŸŽƒ Another trick is to use 2 Tbsp Organic Chia seeds. Soak them overnight in water and add them to your smoothie mix and blend.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Candy Corn Witch Hat

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When I was a kid, candy corns were one of my favorite Halloween treats. They made awesome vampire fangs πŸ˜‚ So it’s no wonder I used them to make a witch’s hat.

For this project I recommend getting clay candy corns. You can use real ones and coat them in Mod Podge, but they won’t last whereas the clay ones will. If you want to get even more creative you could make them yourself 😊

This is a fun and easy Halloween Decoration to make for your home and is great for kids too.

For this Project you will need:

  • Large Paper Mache Witch Hat (about 12 inches tall)
  • Acrylic Paints: Folk Art School Bus Yellow and Black
  • Clay Candy Corns
  • 18″ white netting
  • Black Pom-poms: 1 large and 1 small
  • 2 small wiggle eyes
  • 2 Yellow/Orange Chenille Stems Pipe Cleaners 
  • Letter Rubber Stamps
  • Staz On Stone Gray Ink
  • Small Orange Boa, 18-24 inches long depending on your hat
  • Sponge brushes (makes painting big sections faster)
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue
  • Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • 1/2″ flat brush
  • Clean water, paper towels, wax-coated paper plates for paint palette
  • Mod Podge: Matte for sealing (optional)

Instructions

  1. Basecoat the top of your witch hat in black paint using the 1/2β€³ brush. Apply 2-3 coats and let dry in between coats.
  2. Basecoat the bottom and inside of the hat with 1 coat of the black paint using the 1/2β€³ brush. Let dry.
  3. Basecoat the rim of the hat, on top in yellow paint using the 1/2β€³ brush. Apply 2-3 coats and let dry in between coats.
  4. Using the glue gun, randomly glue candy corns around the top of the hat.
  5. Stamp you letters around onto the rim of the hat. If you’re not going to seal your hat with Mod Podge go to Step 8.
  6. (Optional) Using your sponge brush apply a coat of Matte Mod Podge to the entire hat to seal it. Let dry. Once dry you can apply a second coat of Mod Podge if you so desire.
  7. (Optional) Apply 1 coat of Mod Podge to the bottom and inside of the hat. Let dry      
  8. For the spider, glue the small pom-pom to the large pom-pom using tacky glue.
  9. Using wire cutters, cut five 2β€³ pieces of the yellow/orange pipe stem. Bundle 4 of the pieces and twist the 5th piece around the center of the bundle to hold in place. Spread out the pieces and shape your spider legs. Cut off any excess.
  10. Glue your spider body to the legs with tacky glue. Next glue the wiggle eyes to the front of the small pom-pom. Let dry.
  11. Apply a generous amount of tacky glue to the inner seam of the hat where it meets the rim. Wrap your boa around the hat and cut off any excess. Let dry.
  12. Cut a 12″ piece of netting and tie the center into a knot. Apply tacky glue to the tip of the hat and place the center of the knot over the hat. Let dry.
  13. Gently insert the spider fee into the netting holes and you’re done!

Hope you enjoy making this fun Candy Corn Witch HatπŸŽƒ Thanks for stopping by!!

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Candy Corn Witch Hat

Pure Joy Mixed Media

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Happy October!! I hope you’re doing well. The temps have finally cooled down here a bit and it’s really nice being outside without roasting πŸ˜ŠπŸ‚

I thought I’d share with you a fun and whimsical mixed media canvas I made a while ago. I painted it with bright fun colors and used lots of different techniques and mediums including pages from a book, buttons, ephemera and stamped images.
β €
What do you think?

Have a fabulous weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Inchie Challenge Journal

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I had lots of fun creating the inchies for Amy Maricle’s 2022 Inchie Challenge and now they needed a home. I came across this 2.25″ x 3″ mini journal I started a while ago. I had set it aside because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to fill it with but the inchies seemed to be the perfect fit. So I assembled the journal, painted it and added my inchies.

Thought the video turned out kinda cute. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!!

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“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ~Edgar Degas

Starry Night Journal

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I hope your weekend is off to a great start! This was a painting I started before my studio reno got underway and now I was able to finish it. I was experimenting with different types of paint and shades of blue and purple. Originally this painting didn’t have any clouds but it looked like it was missing something so I added them in. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!!

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“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

Slow Pace of Autumn

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hard to believe that autumn is officially here today. It’s the time of year to slow down and really take in the beauty of the season. Before long, Mother Nature will repaint her canvas from beautiful greens to stunning hues of yellow, red, orange and brown. Gentle breezes begin to roll in and rustle the fallen leaves bringing much needed cooler temps.

We bid farewell to summer as we watch the days become shorter and nights become longer. We get our warm comfy sweaters out, light a few candles and settle in for the season. It’s a time to rest, reflect and finish what’s needed.

Although here in the South we don’t really see a change in this breathtaking season, I bring warmth into our home by decorating for fall. Being an avid baker the sweet scents of pumpkin, apple and cinnamon fill our home making it even more cozy. How do you spend your autumn months?

Wishing you a peaceful autumn season filled with joy, love and good health!

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Poppies Mixed Media Art

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I thought I’d share with you today one of my older pieces of art I created a while ago from a tutorial in Zendoodle Magazine which sadly isn’t published anymore. It was a beautiful publication with eye catching designs and tutorials I really enjoyed.

This mixed media art was made using collaged tissue paper which is a medium that’s such fun to use. To this day this is still one of my favorite pieces of art for many reasons. I love the bright colors, texture, doodles and overall design. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!!

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“Flowers are like friends, they bring color to your world.” ~Gerard De Nerval

Inchie Challenge – Part 3

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Almost done with my studio, thank goodness. This is the end of the Inchie Challenge. It was quite fun creating these little 2×2″ pieces of art. I’m sad it came to an end but I plan on continuing the practice.

I hope you enjoyed coming along on this journey with me. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by!!

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These are all of my creations:

Thoughtful Thursday Battle Boards

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Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

I can’t believe how this year has flown by. We’re already in middle of September and before you know it the holidays will be upon us once again. As we get closer to the last quarter of the year, it’s a good time to take a look at your goals and where you stand on them. Are you meeting them? Did you stay on track or did you forget about them altogether?

Brendon Burchard one of my favorite coaches has a YouTube episode on creating a Battle Board. It’s never too late in the year to start because everyday is a new chance for new opportunities to come into your life. So with my studio getting closer to being done, this is one of the changes I’m implementing.

The concept of the Battle Board is basically to have your goals outlined in front of you so you can see them every day to keep you on track. If you’re not looking at your goals on a daily basis it’s easy to become distracted and veer of course. Once that happens there’s no chance for success.

Whatever your goals may be health, business, finances or relationships, assess where you are and where you want to be. Then create your Battle Board to keep you on track and successful!

Hope this inspired you today. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into visible.” ~Tony Robbins

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

Inchie Challenge – Part 2

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My studio is taking longer than anticipated. It’s the last of the art supplies that need to find a home in the studio that is giving me a bit of trouble. But despite that I’m continuing with Amy Maricle’s Inchie Challenge at Mindful Art Studio.

These are my next 3 days of prompts. What I’m loving about this challenge is working on a 2×2 inch piece of paper forces you to keep things to a minimum. I also love that I’m creating lots of mini pieces of art that I will eventually use in a journal.

These are my creations for Days 4 through 7:

  • Day 4 – Sprinkle
  • Day 5 – Simple
  • Day 6 – Nesting
  • Day 7 – Mussel

We’re going on day 8 and it will be completed by day 11. There’s still time to join, just visit Amy’s website at Mindful Art Studio and click the link to join the Inchie Challenge.

You can also find Amy on Facebook and Instagram at @amymaricle

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Inchie Challenge

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I’m still working on getting my studio back together but really needed a little bit of artsy fun so I joined Amy Maricle’s Inchie Challenge at Mindful Art Studio. This is my first time joining and I’m having lots of much needed fun.

Everyday Amy releases a new prompt for a total 11. The rules are to create a mini piece of art on a 2×2 inch square piece of paper. Since I love using my watercolor paints, I’m using watercolor paper for my inchies but really you can use anything.

These are my creations for the first three days:

  • Day 1 – Leaf
  • Day 2 – Twist
  • Day 3 – Ocean

We’re up to day 5 but I was working hard on my studio the last few days so I need to catch up. You can still join just visit her website at Mindful Art Studio and click the link to join the Inchie Challenge.

You can also find Amy on Facebook and Instagram at @amymaricle

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Destination Key West

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I recently had the pleasure of visiting Key West, Florida the southernmost point in the continental USA and also the westernmost island connected by highway in the Florida Keys. There are more than 800 Florida Keys stretching over 180 miles but only 43 of them are inhabited. The island of Key West is fairly small running 4 miles long and about 1 mile wide.

In 1912 Henry Flagler built his railroad down into Key West connecting it to the mainland. Sadly on September 3rd 1935, Key West was hit by one of the most powerful hurricanes to date, “the Labor Day Storm” and it washed the railroad away which cost Flagler $20 million dollars to build. The railroad was never rebuilt but instead was replaced with a highway.

The scenic drive into Key West on the 110 mile Overseas Highway is simply spectacular! On your drive you’ll enjoy the natural coastal beauty as you cross a total of 42 bridges including the infamous 7 mile bridge which is my favorite. There are plenty of great restaurants, shops and art boutiques to stop at along the way.

There are a lot of interesting sites to visit in Key West including the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, a must see, showcasing artifacts and treasures from the Atocha. President Truman’s Little White House with guided tours and lots of US history. The legendary novelist, Ernest Hemingway resided in Key West and did a lot of his writing in his home which is now open for tours and home to about 60 cats. But keep in mind these are just a few of the fun places to visit while in Key West, there are plenty more.

I’ve saved the best for last as the sunsets in Key West are simply breathtaking. If you do nothing else but take a sunset cruise you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be in awe as you enjoy Mother Nature at her finest while cruising the ocean, there’s nothing quite like it!

I hope you enjoyed this little travel review and are able to visit the Florida Keys some day. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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“Every sunset is an opportunity to reset.” ~Richie Norton

All photos taken by Maria Vidaurre

Make your own Magic – She Blooms in Ink

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I finished another segment in Tamara Laporte’s online course, β€œShe Blooms in Ink.” This was my first dark skin girl and she was ever so challenging. Her skin kept coming out blotchy and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got. So I cleaned it up the best I could and called it a day.

After everything was done, I thought she turned out pretty cool, even with her blotchy skin. I loved the color combination on this one, the green gave it that extra pop. I added the quote using a stencil which I just got on amazon. It’s part of a 20 pc set of inspirational quotes and was very reasonably priced. The stencils are perfect for journaling.

If you’re interested in learning more about the online courses offered by Tamara Laporte, please visit her at Willowing.org.

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Labor Day SALE

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Having a Labor Day Sale in my Etsy Shop this weekend with BIG savings on my original paintings. Perfect time to get a jump start on holiday gifts or to treat yourself because you deserve it✨

Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day weekend!

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Pointillism

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A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Pierre Seurat

In my art history class in college I was introduced to Georges Pierre Seurat. He quickly became one of my favorites along with Monet. This painting titled “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” was created by Seurat using a technique called pointillism.

Pointillism technique was developed in the late 1880’s as part of the Post Impressionist Movement. At that time many artists started using this technique which involved painting tiny distinct dots next to each other until the image is formed.

Seurat lived from 1859 – 1891 in Paris, France. He began working on this painting in the summer of 1884 at the age of 25. I remember seeing this painting on the large projector in the art history auditorium and was completely mesmerized by how beautiful it was and amazed it was painted with nothing more than a bunch of dots.

I loved this technique so much that I decided to give it a try. So I created this 5×7 inch Killer Whale image using a black fine tipped pen on paper. It was very tedious and my hand became pretty sore after just a short while. The entire image took me about a week to complete but l couldn’t imagine doing a very large painting like Seurat’s which measured 81.7×121.25Β inches and took 2 years to complete. I think my hand would fall off πŸ˜‚

I must say that after creating my “little” piece of pointillism art, I had a whole new appreciation for the artists who used this Pointillism technique.

I hope this inspires you to create some art today! I’m taking a short break and will be back soon.

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Thoughtful Thursday Book Review

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I finished reading “Gracefully You” by Jenna Dewan. In her book she talks about her family life and her career in dancing and acting. Many think a celebrity lifestyle is easy and glamourous. But celebrities face challenges and obstacles just like everyone else. Some even worse because of their notoriety.

I enjoyed reading the book on how Jenna overcame the challenges she faced both in her personal life as well as her career. But she saved the best for last when she wrote about having grace in the worst of circumstances. Especially when it’s so much easier to just let loose and let it all out. But that’s something most would end up regretting the next day.

Life isn’t always easy but it’s up to you as to how you choose to deal with the circumstances at hand. Maintaining grace can be very challenging but it is doable. If you fail by losing grace and have regrets, do your best to make it right. Life has a funny way of giving us second chances to do better and learn from our mistakes. But most importantly, always have grace with yourself.

I highly recommend reading Jenna Dewan’s book “Gracefully You” which is available on Amazon. It was a great read with beautiful photographs and quite interesting seeing life from her point of view.

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✨Studio Reno SALE βœ¨

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While I’m busy getting the new floors in the studio I invite you visit my Etsy Shop where all Original Watercolor and Abstract Paintings are on Sale this weekπŸŽ‰

Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

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Stay on the Sunny side of Life! Art Journaling

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I’m almost done packing up the studio and I had a lot more supplies than I thought. So in the midst of the chaos I thought it would be fun to share one of my older journaling pages with you.

I created this fun whimsical design using Derwent Inktense pencils. I love how bright and bold they are. I like that I can create and finish a journal page in a short period of time. It’s satisfying to complete a piece of art that makes you smile 😊

I’ll do my best to get back on track with my blogging now that the packing is basically done πŸ˜… I’m very excited to get the new floor in!

Hope this inspires you in some way today.

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

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I believe in you Painting

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I believe in you by Maria Vidaurre

I finished my cloud painting. It took a bit of time because I created the background and then drew a blank. Couldn’t figure out what I wanted to see on the paper and then it finally came to me.

This was created on a watercolor block with acrylic paints. I added subtle touches of gold and a bit of glitter to the clouds for sparkly magic.

I added the phrase “I believe in you.” It’s a powerful quote that we all need to hear at one time or another. Whether you’re saying it to yourself or imagining some one else saying it to you, always remember that you are “Amazing!” So believe in the power of you ✨

I hope your weekend is off to a great start. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Baby Mocking Bird Rescue

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You never know what the universe has planned for you. It always amazes me how the timing has to be so perfect in order for things to happen. Yesterday morning I went on a walk with my hubby. On our walk I was busy looking up in the trees for our new herons. Thankfully, hubby was looking on the ground and saw this tiny little chick just sitting in the middle of the road.

We quickly scooped him up and got him out of danger but weren’t having any luck finding the nest or mama bird anywhere. He was too small to be on the ground and on his own, especially on a busy street. We ended up taking the little guy to the South Florida Wildlife Center where they will care for him and release him when he’s ready. This also gave us the opportunity to donate to the center for all the great work they do. I love their slogan: “Saving Wildlife in our Urban Jungle.”

Sadly I’ve seen quite a few birds that have died this summer. The National Audubon Society sent out an email blaming the extreme heat for killing lots of babies. Although there’s no one better than a mama bird caring for her young, the odds were stacked against this little guy and the staff at the wildlife center agreed we made the right choice to bring him in. It was a small deed but nevertheless a good one and it felt great saving this little life!

I was surprised that we still have little babies like this in the middle of summer. Always thought this was more of a spring time event. Do you have the same where you live?

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Believe in you Journal Pages

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Sometimes I like to create small pieces of art like these tags. I normally don’t have an immediate need for them, but I enjoy the creation process. I end up putting these small artsy pieces in a box for later use. The fun happens when I go my stash box and pick out pieces to create journal pages like these.

You end up working backwards starting with the colors in your ephemera and then picking a background color that complements it. This is a fun way to create journal pages even if you’re short on time.

Hope these pages inspire you in some way today. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Dangers of Keto Diet

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Photo by Total Shape on Pexels.com

I’ve talked about this before but it’s really important to remember how truly unique each of us are. From our personalities, to our looks to how our bodies react to foods, especially diets. A little over a year ago, I gave the Keto Diet a try for 15 days. But it didn’t agree with my body. I ended up losing weight but not fat. When I went back to eating my normal diet, which is vegan and I reintroduced the carbs, I put the weight back on and then some.

I came across some people who loved the Keto Diet so much that they stayed on it for a long time. But what most people don’t know, is the Keto Diet was designed to be followed for short periods of time. This is a diet of high fat. Even though some say it’s the good kind of fat, bottom line is fat is still fat. And too much of anything will take a toll on your body.

Long story short, by staying on the Keto for a long period of time, the people I spoke with developed serious health issues and were told to get off of the diet. The adverse affects of prolonged Keto Dieting is dangerous and include:

  • Hepatic Steatosis (fatty liver disease)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Kidney Stones
  • Hypoproteinemia (abnormally low protein)
  • Keto Flu (symptoms mimicking a cold flu)
  • Rapidly Increased Cholesterol Levels
  • Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies
  • Dehydration

Also keep in mind if you already have pre-existing health conditions you very well could make these worse or add more complications to your list. So please always consult with a doctor before and during major dietary changes so you can monitor your progress and avoid any serious adverse affects.

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“Every human being is the author is his own health or disease.” ~Buddha

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Space Odyssey Abstract

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You may have noticed I’ve been fascinated with stars and planets lately. This painting started out as an abstract and when I painted in the shapes based on the underlying texture, it quickly took on an outer space feel.

I thought the drips on this one turned out kind of cool. I wanted to bring more attention to them so I accented them with glitter and added a bit of shading for more depth. I named this one Space Odyssey and it’s painted on a 10×10 inch stretched canvas.

If interested, it’s available for purchase in my Etsy Shop.

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“Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival.” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

Galaxy Art Journaling

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I’ve been having fun experimenting with different color combinations in my watercolor journal. I really like this color combination. It’s a dark turquoise, deep magenta, rose and light blue.

I think I like it better than the last one. What do you think – A or B? Cast your Vote in the comment section below πŸ‘‡

A (left) / B (right)

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“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Thoughtful Thursday Mission Organization

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Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

Imagine going to the library and the books are randomly placed on the shelves. You’d get frustrated because you can’t find what you’re looking for. If you were the person in charge of getting new books for the library you wouldn’t know which books to add because you don’t know what’s already there.

We all have a tendency of acquiring “stuff” that seems to pile up and multiply all on it’s own if we don’t tend to it. Maybe we’re just not an organizer by nature or we’ll get to it later but then later never comes. All this “stuff” stops the flow of energy causing you to become unhappy, stressed and lose clarity to name a few.

I’m getting ready to do the floors in my studio. It’s something I’ve been putting off but needs to get done. I’m not looking forward to packing everything up because I have a lot of art supplies I use. On the other hand this is going to force me to really look at what I have and ask “do I really need this, does it bring me happiness.”

I wanted to get some new ideas and a fresh outlook to organizing my studio so I purchased a book by Desha Peacock, “Your Creative Work Space” which is available on Amazon.

I started reading the book and love it so far. Desha shares examples of creative work spaces from different people in different professions. She also shares her wisdom for organizing your sacred space and keeping that way. I’m already very excited to put some of her ideas to use and create better energy flow in my studio.

I’m not sure how this is going to work out but I’ll do my best to keep posting and sharing the happy with everyone. Wish me luck πŸ˜…

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Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Nebula Art Journaling

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I’m having fun playing with my watercolors and trying new things like this nebula which I painted in my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore Watercolor Journal. The picture below was the start of my inspiration but then there were quite a few photos I liked and I had a hard time choosing just one. So I ended up combining different things from each one and putting it into this painting.

Although it didn’t go as planned I really like this color combination and it was lots of fun creating it. But I think I have a bit more experimenting to do. What I love about painting is it’s very fulfilling. When you finish a painting it gives you a sense of accomplishment and that’s wonderful feeling!

What do you like to do that gives you a feeling of accomplishment?

I hope you’re enjoying your 4th of July weekend! Thanks for stopping by!!!

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“The darkest nights produce the brightest stars.” ~Unknown

Thoughtful Thursday Scary Truth about Rabies Vaccine

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Cocoa

I was horrified when I found out the adverse affects of rabies vaccine on my girls. Most vets give you the option of a 1 year or 3 year rabies vaccine. The majority of pet owners opt for the 1 year vaccine because it’s cheaper and they think their pet is getting a lower dose.

But here’s what you don’t know. The dosage for the 1 year and 3 year are the same. The reason is because the vaccine will stay in your dog’s body for about 3 years. So if you’re getting annual rabies shots you’re basically overdosing on the vaccine.

Adverse reactions to the rabies vaccine can be mild like swelling, lethargy, or vomiting or they can be much more severe. Reactions can show up shortly after getting vaccinated or over a period of time and can cause permanent damage. Dogs Naturally Magazine has a good article online that outlines 65 ways the vaccine can harm your dog including cancers, seizures, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases and so much more.

Sadly I didn’t find out about this until it was too late. I had Cocoa vaccinated annually her entire life. She had the energy and vigor of a young dog until she got her last required vaccine. Within 3 months of getting vaccinated, her health rapidly declined and she passed away within a year.

I miss her a lot but at least now I know how detrimental the vaccine is to dogs so I won’t make the same mistake again. I don’t want you to take my word for it, but do your own research as scary as it may be. Your pup will thank you!

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“65 Ways Rabies Vaccination Can Harm Your Dog” by Dogs Naturally Magazine

Rosie at 9 weeks old