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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lady Poppins at Storefront Deals!

I have some exciting news!

Today, Monday, October 21, 2013 and for a two days after you will be able to buy two of my art prints at Storefront Deals.

It is an awesome new site and this is how they describe themselves:
We team up with top notch sellers to bring you quality items at a low price.  We love handmade and small businesses and we work to promote their awesomeness.  Deals only last 2-3 days, so get it before it's gone!
I have seen a couple other sites like this where they feature daily deals, but what I love about Storefront Deals is that it promotes small businesses! How wonderful for all of us on Etsy and working from home. 
I feel honored to participate in such a great site. The graphics are so cute too, but it's because it is by graphic artist Kimberly Church and here is a link to her cute shop One Word Designs.
For the next couple days I will have these two prints to choose from:
Vintage Camera and Floral Watercolor Print
Typewriter and Floral Watercolor Print
So if you were contemplating buying a print, now is the time! Or just go check out the other deals and save the site in your favorites. Then you can pop in and see what's new!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Secret Potty Training Tip

I suffered more years than most potty training ONE child.


I can't blame it all in him though. Because when things became frustrating, I looked back through time to when he was a BABY. Not even a year old and he was trying to HOLD IT IN. I can still see my little guy holding on to the couch (he was in that I-can't-walk-yet-but-I'll-hold-the-edge-of-the-couch-phase), crossing his legs, and his face would turn red. We all figured he was going.

NO. He was holding it IN.

At 2 we dabbled with the idea of potty training. At 3 we committed. At 4 I was so frustrated I would cry.

"Oh, boys take a lot longer than girls," they would say.

"As long as he can go by Kindergarten, there's no need to worry," others would say.

And "No one will remember this when he is 16."

Well, first off, your kids were potty trained by 2. Thanks for pretending not to judge me.
Second, I am worrying. This kid might be the only kid that will have potty issues in Kindergarten.
Third, I will.

Well, now that he is 5, I am happy to report THIS TOO SHALL PASS. If any of you moms are in the same boat I was, I am SO SORRY. I could cry for you just thinking about it.

It really was horrible. First there was the feeling that I was being judged for the shortcomings of my child. Maybe this was all MY fault. Was I feeding him the wrong things? Maybe. But kids are picky. Sometimes you just want them to eat, so you make it easy for you and them. There was the nice coaxing, the pleading, crying, yelling, apologies, threats, rewards, crazy rewards, potty movies, potty books, google searching, and doctor visits.

Finally we found the right mix. We used Miralax, but that was messy. So that came in MUCH smaller doses. Then came my friend's suggestion to use a homeopathic remedy (we diagnosed him using a homeopathic website and gave him Hyland's dissolving tablets as directed---for his symptoms he needed Silicea 6x). If you are looking for a remedy this site has a section to help you.

And I think between the two things a miracle occurred!

He had just turned 4 when all of a sudden, we were a happy family again. I cannot begin to tell you how much stress this put on my relationship with my son and me. I hope he never remembers how hard that was for the two of us. But we made it.

Please tell me I am not alone in that battle?

Anyway, I am sorry for the long post if you were looking to head straight to my top potty tip.

Here it is:

Put a panty liner in the rear end of your child's underwear.

I thought I might be a genius when I discovered this. Someone most likely thought of it before me, but I had never heard it suggested nor had I seen it pinned on Pinterest. So this is revolutionary.

If your child has "accidents" I'm sure you hate to clean them as much as I did...

When you put the panty liner on, say they do go. Welp, the fabric in the prime target area has been protected! You just rip it off, dispose of the mess, and then the underwear can go in the laundry!!

So that's all I've got. There's a million "How to Potty Train Your Kid in a Weekend" tutorials, but those never worked for me.

So this is for all you other gals and pals :)

I just might have to delete the "details" soon since this is the internet and nothing is worse than Mommy blabbing your secrets. But for now, I hope it really does help someone else!

Monday, October 14, 2013

How I painted a canvas custom painting for a nursery

My husband's sweet friend contacted me and asked me to do a special painting. She is having a baby girl around late December and wanted to use the painting as the focal point of the room as well as the inspiration for wall color, bedding, etc. I also have to tell you that this gal is gorgeous. As in, we all wish we looked half as good as her while we were pregnant. She is a doll!

Now first off, what an honor! I know that when I was expecting my two pumpkins decorating the nursery was one of the most supreme delights. What you put into the baby's space or room defines you hopes for your sweet little baby. Working on this felt really special.

But...custom orders are intimidating! Especially to a newbie like me. You worry a lot about whether you are heading in the right direction. You feel really self conscious too. When you are painting for yourself it doesn't matter if you mess up. You just get a new sheet of paper or whitewash the canvas. When it is an order you don't want to waste time! Who wants to dilly dally? Thankfully this painting was a fun assignment and right up my alley. I enjoy doing whimsical, sweet, children's paintings.


These were the guidelines or suggestions I was given:

-Acrylic or Oil Paint
-Large canvas painting 2x3 feet (a really great size for a kid's room)
-Color: pinks, purples, yellows, soft blues, and greens
-Little girl on a swing with dark hair and a white dress

And then the process:

So I first started sketching with a pen and paper.

Then I wanted to get a feel for the colors and the setup, so I made a collage in photoshop using photos I manipulated. You can do this too! Collect some favorite pictures from the internet from sites like Getty Images and use them as inspiration or a model for what you want to create. The internet is such a great resource for artists. Especially when doing human forms.

Collage made in Photoshop to give an idea for colors and setup.

Next came color blocking the sky light blue and the ground green.

Next I tried something different from normal: I mod podged torn tissue paper onto the canvas. It gave it a cool, random crinkle effect and since it was a lustre finish it had a glossy gleam to it. I made the mistake of painting a sky with gloss before, but I ended up loving the effect! When I painted images on top of it they would lack the gloss, so when the painting was angled a certain way only the background would gleam! The effect shows off most during sunset.

After that dried I started to work on the clouds.

Then came the meat of the picture: sketching the details.

I drew the tree limbs, the girl, and some flowers. I got bored drawing the flowers and just decided to paint.

And then finished!

I hope this helped anyone that is starting to paint or that is starting to get custom work orders! What is wonderful is that if you like it, then you can make art prints of it. Sometimes something that is requested isn't normally something you would do...but ends up being a hit! So take a chance on it.

Just be YOU :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Take a leap, a hop, or even a smidgen of a step forward...

For years I have just dreamed and wished that in some fantasy land I could be paid for my artwork.

I never valued my work as being worthy of pay. My friends and family told me it was. Strangers even said so.

But I didn't believe them.

They were just being nice or they feel like they have to say that because they love me.

But then I grew frustrated. Here I am, a mom. I graduated from college at 21, a month later was married, and at 22 I became a mom. I love my little boy and pint sized girl. But sometimes a mommy has gotta get away from the house! I substitute teach one to three days a week. I love getting out and being a teacher, a professional. For 7 hours I am not Mommy, not in charge of dishes or wiping a butt. But as much as I love teaching, it still was missing something.

And then I realized I really wanted to be an artist. So I secretly dreamed about it and plotted what I would do with an Etsy store. Every time a friend said, "You should sell your work," it was an extra push. And then I Print From Home had a Valentine's giveaway for $50...and I won it! So I ordered some prints of my works...and posted them on Etsy.

And that was the beginning.

The wonderful beginning! It has only been 8 months since I first started selling things in my shop (I decided to save the name "Lady Poppins" in January of 2011, but didn't post anything for TWO YEARS), but within that small amount of time amazing things have started to  happen. And now I really understand that God helps those who help themselves...because it was up to ME to take that leap. There were wonderful nudges and messages that were sent to me constantly, but I just said "Thank you" and simply forgot. God was telling me I could have my dream, but I had to believe in myself and do some dirty work.

I have been blessed. I have had unending support from my husband, mom, family, many friends, and customers. And of course, the ever constant love and support from my Heavenly Father.

I am excited for what is to come, because I am going to work at it. Sometimes custom orders and requests are scary and intimidating because I have never done it before, but I know I can do it! I'm experimenting right now. A watercolor here, a canvas painting there, a blog header, digital designs, and special projects there.

I don't know where I am going to end up, but I'm just going to go along for the ride. Because this is fun, exciting, scary, and wonderful! I love to think that something I've made can make another person happy or help them.

And maybe, just maybe, this will inspire you to make that tiny leap. No matter how small, it's one step forward. And with God on our side, anything is possible.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bringing out the Halloween Decor

Halloween Clip art available in the Lady Poppins shop

The Jack O' Lantern pumpkins would look so cute printed out and framed for Holiday décor!

My son cried alone in his room yesterday.

Because Daddy was making him wait til Thursday (today) to put up Halloween Decorations.

Hard life, I know.

It's cute how much he likes Halloween, because his Daddy is a big fan of it as well. Matt would tell me all about how when he was a kid his buddies came over and they built a fantastic haunted house for the trick-or-treaters to go through. The last couple of years we have been throwing a grown up Halloween Party and his enthusiasm is adorable. Sadly this year we will be taking a break. It doesn't help that TWO of the kids birthdays sandwich the Saturday we would normally do it.

The first year he was Mugatu from Zoolander:

Last year was the best--Walt White from Breaking Bad:

Awesome, right?! And my costumes have been boring but pretty...such as this one, a fairy:

Our friends Ben and Mandie came as....Matt and me! LOL! We love them :)

Are you big on Halloween at your house?

Halloween would be forgotten if it weren't for my husband and kids. Christmas is my favorite!!