Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Stick Yo Neck Out" or "Waterfalls"

"If I had a big giraffe he'd have to take a real long bath and that's why waterfalls are really neat" Dwight Yoakam

A few months ago as I sat with a guest creating a painting of some polka dot/stripey/zig zaggy coated giraffe onto a small canvas I was asked a question. I do believe the question was harmless and not intended to hurt my feelings yet...for a while now, 6 months exactly today...it kinda stung. Don't mistake my notation of the date as a deeper emotional blow, I am after all "rain man" and certain dates and things just stick out. I can't help it kids- it's who I am! Speaking of that.... The question was not intended to insult my very being or as imposed judgment on my artistic ability it was a practical question about something that isn't really practical at all...My art work.  So it went like this: I finished the last stripe or dot or whatever on the giraffe and proudly displayed my canvas to my guest "Tadaaa!" I said (I am 7 years old you know) "Neat" says the guest...."who would buy that?"  errrrrrrrrrrkkkkkkk....... record scratch... I'm sorry-what? Did you, a math guy-evidence finder-logical self proclaimed stats nerd, just imply my art work is not worth purchasing?????  I didn't say that because to be real honest I couldn't catch my breath and my face was burning hot and my eyes were stinging so I just sat there breathing in and out and slowly turned back to my supply box to start cleaning up. All the while thinking "seriously tho...who WOULD buy this? it's stupid...I don't even know why I drew or painted these giraffes like this..I mean brightly colored and with the coat of other animals (one was leopard print I remember), What good does it do anyone?  I think I muttered something like "people who want to support what I get to do in Kenya mostly buy my little canvases. Next month I will do a new canvas every day and people have blindly reserved their dates."  Feeling a bit self righteous  I then mumbled..."some very smart people buy things like this." 
It's true. I create quirky and non sensical things and some times people buy them.. And sometimes...people see the little creations and actually commission bigger versions and you know what else? Sometimes people don't. It's also true that people who want to support my orphans in Kenya buy my work and smart people buy my work. Good- we got all that settled. Only took 6 months to get to  this "Does it matter who buys it? Does it matter if anyone buys it at all? Is it any less art? Are you any less "you"? The answer to all of those questions is a resounding "NO".  It's the very essence of the series  I call U.B.U.  Be the best you-you can be. Don't worry about others and don't try to fit in or measure up. Be YOU!  Uhh...good idea AK I think I will. Good! Thank you! You're most welcome. Good night! 

And now, the song that started all this giraffe painting anyway. Take it away Mr. Yoakam 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

No Place Like...

"It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where I come from
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong" Chantal Kreviazuk

Certain things don't make the blog. I could start an entirely new series of posts or rather a brand new blog or perhaps write a book of true life nonsense of happenings around the good ol' trailer, I would call that "Tales From The Trailerhood". I almost never discuss my love for government cheese, and I don't recall painting anything reflective of the free school supplies I obtained through a Cherokee Nation program called J-O-M.
My life and the lives of my family are quite different now so lots of those stories are pretty funny. I should make a point to write what I remember.  
Today my head, or is it my heart? is there.
Tonight I will paint.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hey Teacher!!!!

Leave those Kids Alone!!!! All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

I may have wanted to paint something representative of Pink Floyd's The Wall II for quite some time. And by "quite some time" I mean since Labor Day 1992.   I was riding in my cousin's maroon, two door Pontiac Grad Am with the windows down, holding the TAPE case. Being the highly oppressed rural Oklahoman 9th grader I was- I totally identified with the lyric "We don't need no education! We don't need no thought control". So maybe things at Oktaha High School weren't oppressive so much as well...I did not like school AT ALL....and I never did. And I probably never will. I'm so serious. I NEVER even played school as a kid. If a friend of mine said to me "hey let's play school!" I would punch her in the mouth for even saying the word...then I'd declare our friendship over-stating the obvious "you don't know me!" Look people I was a hard core 3rd grader. I did not mess around. I might have played a game called "boss", were I got to be the boss of everyone. (shocking I know!) I also played "All Skate"  I would assume ownership of my very own skating rink in my parent's garage (I charged the neighbor kids to skate in a one car garage to the only  record I owned. Yes, it was Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" and yes, I played it over and over AND over again. Me and my sister Aims would also play "Firework Stand" where we would gather used fireworks on the 5th of July and pretend the deep freezer in the skating rink/garage was our fire works stand.  Yes, we did sale the used fireworks to the neighborhood kids. No, I do not know why anyone would  spend money on suit covered trash the day after a national holiday. Nor do I know why after one round of "boss" anyone would return to play again but  I do know two things.  1. I was a hustler-I mean seriously? I charged my friends to skate in my garage??? and 2. I did NOT play school.

No one certain event caused this detest of the institution of learning-I even had amazing teachers and I never struggled to excel. Just because I COULD do the work did not mean I wanted to people. Point is, I was one of "those" kids. I faked sick all the time and later got real honest with my mother and said "not going to school today. It's cold outside and I want to stay home." or "I already read the work for my first two classes and I'm sleeping late in the morning"  (if you know my mother you understand she allowed this).  I did not and do not hate learning, and I never shy away from a challenge, I just did not like the practice of sitting at a desk and being quite for hours at a time.

 As an adult I realize what a major job being a teacher must be. I mean I was a good kid by all standards and I had to have been a challenge in the classroom.  I can't imagine the pressures and expectations a school teacher faces now.  I appreciate the role a teacher plays (and played in my own life)  building into and protecting young humans and instilling in them a basic understanding of the foundation of knowledge. All the while being inspected and often criticized.   I value the role of the teacher as a true calling.  I respect all the more a person who not only teaches but invests in the children with great pride and passion. I applaud the teacher who can't "leave those kids alone" and I admire the true artist, magician, baby sitter, nurse, councilor, entertainer and friend a great teacher has to be.  Whatever accolades and awards you have received are minor by comparison to the unseen victories in which you have played a part. I can't imagine a bigger job than that of a "brick layer" in the life of a child.  I am certain you have not been thanked enough and I am certain you will continue to do the work of a mason in spite of this. Those facts are why if for no other reason, you should commemorate every award you are given.

 I would now like to take this opportunity to say I'm real sorry to anyone who was ever my teacher and or baby sitter....okay while I'm at it, also sorry to the neighbor kids who payed for used fireworks.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Flowers in her hair

This is me. At lunch. Today. okay well...I was laughing and laughing and laughing like THIS! At lunch.  Today. Honestly, I laugh and laugh at lunch a lot of days. I'm like that.  I did not however have flowers in my hair but I wanted to sketch big curly hair for some time and if I DID have flowers for hair I would certainly laugh more often. Who among us wouldn't?
Happy Springy-flower filled weekend! I hope you laugh. a lot!

Big Dress

The first of my lil business card sketches/paintings. YAY!!! I do love a new project.
This painting will be auctioned on Saturday April 27th at an auction to raise funds for mission work in Haiti.
Have a sketchy day friends!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Project "The Biz"

Fact.  I sketch something or somethings every day.  Fact. I have a whole box of unused/unusable business cards. Fact.  When I am officially sketching out an idea for a commissioned work I normally do so in a book. But my day to day sketches...well they are on various sticky notes or the back of a used envelope or on the side of a document I should have already sent through in house mail to another department etc.  Fact. upon completion of some paintings I go back and wish I had left said painting as a sketch. I don't know what that's about but sometimes I like the unfinished and rough version all smeared and imperfect better than the neatly colored in the lines picture I sell or post. Just some randomness from inside the steel trap. You are totally welcome!
I am going to start posting a series of mini sketches that may or may not become actual paintings. I plan to call this series of one-gazillion sketches on the back of business cards,  (okay maybe there are only 200 unused cards in the box but it certainly seems like more than that)..."The Biz" in honor of my college roomie.

If you see a sketch you might like to have for your very own in either larger scale or just painted in miniature-let a art girl know!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Party Hat

"The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize." Steel Magnolias

I have always believed once a woman has a child she becomes part magician.  The ability to magically make pain go away from a skint knee with a kiss is just the tip of the ice berg. The thing that mesmerizes me the most is how the chemical compound of a mother's spit in the tiniest amount-just a lick of the thumb even, can clean three faces and remove powdered sugar from a navy blue school uniform while in line for annual photos.

For my "Sweet" friend Wendi.
Today is her mom's birthday and no doubt those gals will have need for a party hat! And no doubt Wendi's mom kissed her share of scrapes and cleaned her share of faces so a magician's hat seems apropos.  
Wendi, thank you so much for supporting my project. I was telling a friend last night how we met and became friends all because of a mutual love for frozen yogurt. That just reinforced what I have believed all along...Ice cream will one day bring about world peace!
I may not see you as often now, but I do love you! Thanks for being part of my lil project!!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

"She's So Fly"

 A Note from Gina- "April 1 is my daughter's 15th bday. She loves butterflies and loves her small group at church. The painting you did yesterday with the butterflies and angel reminded me of her personality (social butterfly and very joyous)."

The 31 day project is now complete-and yet the daily painting continues!!! How much fun is that? As I was trying to fall asleep last night I was thinking about the painting projects and how much fun it has been.  I thought about the fact that I enjoy painting and creating so much yet I have to make myself commit to a project or else somehow my art gets pushed to the back of the stack of things to do. It's silly I know but it's true.  Also, I realize I get so much from the opportunity to create something and write about it, and often times express my point of view or speak a word of encouragement to a fellow human via the blog post-yet another reason I SHOULD make this a priority. I'm going to try. I'm going to try not to wait two years to do another painting a day type project. I am going to try to set some time out every few days to create something and write about it. And I am going to TRY not to freak myself out if either of these things doesn't happen. (that's the big one) So...from the bottom of my silly artsy heart, I say a very sincere THANK YOU! To each of you who read the blog and share the blog and check out my work and participate in my projects. Thank you!
Now... A few matters of business- 1. If you purchased a date in March and have not paid-feel free to go ahead and do so via debit or credit card using the "purchase" button on the home page of my blog. 2. The 31 Day Project 2.0 Art Show will be held on April 27th  at 441 East Chester Street in the most awesome old building down town here in Jackson- I will send and post an actual invite soon. I invite you to go ahead and save the date or at least a few minutes that evening! Thanks!  And now, on with today's post...

For Gina's daughter on her 15th birthday.  "She's So Fly"  It was a while back but I remember being 15. I was a sophomore in high school, I could not wait to turn 16 and I was in love with Elvis Presley. (And yes, I thought Memphis, TN was on the other side of the world. No joke I had yet to imagine what my life would be when I left Oktaha, Oklahoma for college, I had no idea what adventures were in store for me but I knew I was ready! I was excited! I was eager to take on the world. My faith was strong, my family loved me, and a few amazing people helped me understand there was nothing I could not do! Life. was. good! 
I wish the same for you on your 15th birthday Shelby. And now a silly fun song just for you! 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Every Little Thing (gonna be alright)

Inspired by the Elizabeth Lee Hopkins theme song-as performed by Bob Marley  and in representation of the Hopkins family. Three Little Birds.

“Promise Yourself"

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.” 
― Christian D. LarsonYour Forces and How to Use Them

To my sweet sweet BEAUTIFULLY optimistic "cuppy" who always believes there is a surprise party in the works and can convince you of the same.  I love you so much! Thank you for always being in my corner and for being a part of my project!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Cause and Effect"

Goldberg Device-step one: Blue bird bends over to eat the red m&ms, the string attached to her leg is attached to a large pale. The bird will eventually pull on the string hard enough to dump the contents of the pale. This will cause step two.
Answer to a question no one asked: I have a thing for Rube Goldberg machines. I realize that's a bit more scientific than a typical piece of AK trivia but it's true. I love the concept of theory displayed by mechanics. Before I jump too deep off into the nerd pool, let me say you are all aware of the coolness that is a Goldberg machine. The kid's gameMousetrap? Or, Oh! I KNOW!  What about the breakfast scene from that classic work of cinematography, Pee Wee's Big Adventure? An over complicated system of action and reactions leads to the execution of a simple task? SIGN ME UP!  A series of not so necessary but kinda cool and totally quirky carefully aligned strategically timed processes just for the sake of cracking an egg? What's not to love about that??? Its beautiful-and genius! It makes you smile, and it makes you think. The task it accomplishes, while minor to some, has major impact! Each step in the system leads to the highly anticipated positive outcome. I propose Goldberg machines are the perfect blend of silly and smart-of art and science!

Given the artistic freedom to do so, I draw similarities between the Goldberg device and the way we exist on the planet together. In creating today's painting (which is just 1 in a series of 4 by the way) I couldn't help but think about how one fun and quirky interaction with a person led to more fun and then  more interaction and that led to a new experience and then another and so on. Beautiful!

Today I reflect upon the art in theory of cause and effect. I indulge the quirky in me and encourage the silly in you. May your life be filled with positive outcomes! Thanks thanks thanks for being part of my project!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Party pup

Party Pup

Smarty Pup
Friday-Yayday-Birthday pup

Party guest
Pups are best
No time to rest
Cake to ingest

Party hat or a tiny sweater
For his "mom" there is none better
What a Joy!
Not a toy!
He's like a real boy!

Party-hardy-super arty Birthday pup!

Ash, I hope you have a great birthday! And the whole year is filled with many joyful surprises! Thanks for being part of my project! I love you!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wale Wale Wale

Well Well Well
I've a mermaid's tale to tell
There's a boy she thinks is swell
He brought her from her shell
Thoughts of him never fail
To bring a smile.

As she sleeps with the fishes
She'll wish a hundred wishes
For a swim swam sum
Life filled with fun
On the beach in the sun
She would be still for a while
And bask in  his style
Or she'd walk an up hill  mile
To see Smiley...

Thank you  for being a part of my project! Your smile makes me smile too!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Little King and Little Queen

"All Hail The King and Dairy Queen"

Once upon a time in a land 26 miles away...A lucky lucky man made a beautiful gal his wife. Together they built a palace-high on a hill, they opened a magical restaurant where they made thousands and thousands of folks from the township their miniature cheese burgers and amazing ice cream treats. As the years passed by Lucky King Larry and the BEAUTIFUL Queen Gail raised three children of their own and enriched the lives of countless others. They ruled the "Queen dom" it's true, but this royal family served. They served God, the community around them, and they served each other.  The man and his wife spent many  years in that palace on the hill and when their time was up they passed on the values of  friendship and love and respect. The King and Queen taught their children that family is important and there are no little people. They left behind a legacy of faith so even after they were gone people would know they too could live happily ever after.  

Little Heather,
Thank you so so much for being a part of my project!  As I told Nat last year, your mother and dad treated me like their very own and I am so fortunate to have been part of their "Queen-dom".  I love you!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


The sky is the limit!

Today's post is for Ben, the sweet baby brother of Avery, who had her own painting earlier in the project. 
Ben is a super big fan of his big sister, animals and Little Einstein's rocket ship.  Ben, this is for you! 

As you know I love love love  you! Without you I would be lost. Thank you for always supporting my projects! 

Monday, March 25, 2013


There she stands with outreached hands-A heart filled with gratitude and a soul overflowing with  joy. For the gifts she has have touched so many and for them she is thankful and proud.  

Home maker
Amazing chocolate cake baker
Break room table decorator

Place Setter
Doctor Getter
Boss you if you let her.

Free to dream
House is clean
Thumbs are green
Family's Queen

Flower aranger
Friend to a stranger
Beach Goer
Seed Sower
A sitter she is not

Fancy lady 
Busy Bee
Family is priority
Proud of Quite. A. LOT! 

First of all-thank you for being a part of my project. Thank you for ALWAYS supporting my projects! From buying art or T-shirts to bringing food and paper goods to Kenya Dig It, you have constantly supported the thing I love and it's just such a testament to who you are and how you use your talents.  I love you and I can't wait to see what you dream to do next.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Teachers: They inspire you, they entertain you, and you end up learning a ton, even when you don't know it.

Long ago in an apartment made for three, there were seven girls living for the summer. What a great time we had!!! The fun was constant-the nonsense plenty and only briefly interrupted by the daily task of supervising school age children in summer fun camps. We were sort of teachers for the summer and after classes in the school year.  Some of us did it for money, it was just our job. Miss April however, she was good at it and she actually grew up to become a teacher and a wife and a mother in real life.   Lucky-Lucky kids! 

If all the little raindrops
Were lemon drops and gum drops
Oh, if all the little raindrops
Were lemon drops and gum drops
Oh, what a rain that would be!
Standing outside, with my mouth open wide
Singing..."ah ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah ah!"
If all the little raindrops 
Were lemon drops and gum drops 
Oh, what a rain that would be! 

April- You taught me to have fun! (Really, AK? Someone had to TEACH you that?) Uhhh...have you met me? yes! And I will forever and ever be thankful for the summer of G-6 and all the years I have called you my friend since!  Thank you for being a part of my project "sthisthter April" I love you! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Today is the only day I had not sold in the whole 31 Day Project! How exciting for someone like me!!! I had this "rockin" idea for this painting and was pretty happy I got the chance to do it.
If anyone is interested in purchasing THIS painting it is for sale same as the other dates were. $15.00-just let me know.

In other ROCK STAR news.... The 31 Day Project show is going to be held on Saturday, April 27th.  Time and location and details will be posted soon- I certainly hope you all can attend!!! Please save the date!

Now is the perfect time to say to those of you who follow my project-to those of you who have purchased dates-to those of you who took a moment to repost a picture or send me a sweet text saying you like what I have done-Thank you! I am fortunate to have such a fun opportunity to share some of the art and some of the silly and some of the love.  YOU ALL ROCK!

Friday, March 22, 2013


Harriett declared this year would be her year. Her year for peace. She pursues that which she desires. And finds it, within her own four walls.

Red chair
Curly hair
Frozen, broken pizza fare
No worries
No Hurries
No Fear
Just Ice cold-lime beer
Cars slow down
She hears the sound
Doesn't come unwound
Channel flippin
House slippers slippin
Pins to pin to a board
Looks and sighs..."Oh my Lord!"
This is peace!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Add caption
So many possibilities,
So little time
what is the meaning of this "watch" of mine?
Maybe "Watch Me!!"
Or perhaps it means "hurry up! You're too slow!"
Or "patients," it's a virtue you know.
Watch for fashion
For listen and watch
For my friends who are neutral I painted a swatch.

Thank you GA for being a part of my project!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Us Three"

"Every boy needs two things. A dog, and a mother who will allow him to have one." Anonymous 

Country Boys
No need for many toys
We have each other
Me and my brother
And a dog. 

No doubt your family is very important to you-I read some things you said about getting the puppy and I saw the happy faces on your boys in pictures...I just could not resist them as today's subject matter.  
Thank you so much for all those mornings of boot camp encouragement. (Man! did we seriously do that for 12 weeks????)  I am so thankful to call you my friend.  Your love for your family is so evident. I just admire you guys very much.  Thanks for being a part of my project!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"R is for ROSSOME!"

R is for:
Ross, he is the boss
R is for
Race car, the coolest ride by far
R is for
Rad, like his mom and his dad
R is for
Redonkulous,  cool,  and then some
Welcome to the planet kid!
Its totally Rossome!

Lindsaaaayyyy- thranks thranks thranks for being my friend to the end! And thanks for being a part of my project again! Congratulations! I lurve you!

Monday, March 18, 2013

"No Cure"

"To love another person is to see the face of God" Les Miserable

If you follow my blog there is a good chance we know one another on a personal level and I consider you a friend. Therefore the fact that I have no children is common knowledge.  I have very little parental perspective regarding the degree of  love one  has for their own children. I do however know two things with great certainty. 1. My parents love me unconditionally, they love me with the kind of love that "brings tears to their eyes and will crush the strongest of hearts".  A phrase I learned while in Kenya a few years back seems most appropriate: "Hakuna tiba ya aina hii ya upendo"  that is the Swahili phrase meaning "For this kind of love there is no cure".  And 2. I know from a child's perspective that my love is the same for my parents, it will never change, long after they are gone, my heart will be grateful I was loved by them and I had the opportunity to love them in return.  

To my dear life long friend Tish,
I don't even recall a time I did not know you and Rodney. That man sat beside you and played with your hair in church since I was old enough to walk. :)  You have been my "family" since....well...forever I  guess.  I love you! Thank you for being a part of my project!
May today be a day of remembering what a great legacy your mom left.  From her to you and on down now to Duck and Andrea and Butch and even the grand children. What a beautiful life to love!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Lucky Frog"

Lucky  frogs
Puppy dogs
Bunny Rabbits too
Tiny mice
Very nice
All depend on you

With such care you keep them there
baby ducks and chickadee
You love them all and look after
Pixie and the brothers three

I am so in awe of the talent you have for taking care of all the little animals. We are all very lucky to have you!  Have a super happy wonderful St. Patty's Day Birthday "Little Sister"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Walking On Sonshine"

I always consider it an honor to paint for another person. True, I find it a little overwhelming...it's that "pleaser middle kid" mentality I believe. But I love it.  I am exceptionally honored to paint for a dear distant friend I proudly consider the "future me".  "Future me", or Kim, as some know her, requested today's painting and expressed her thoughts about the day she gave birth to her second born son.

A message from Kim:  "The day I picked for my painting is March 16.  That's Matt's birthday, but it was also the last day I would be "with child" forever.  That part of my life was complete.  From that day forward I would have all the children I was going to have.and raise to boys that would one day be men.  It was a beautiful spring day and my body had given its last birth...yet another beautiful thing.  I was on a new path, never to look back.  I was completely at peace with all that I had done as a woman; bringing two beautiful souls into this world."

Future Me, I adore your style (duh!) I admire your professional accomplishments and the passion you have for educating children. And when I think of how I might express my own feelings regarding a day like you described, not being the writer you certainly are, and not to oversimplify such a powerful occasion, but the one word that comes to my silly-happy-go-lucky mind is TADAAAAAHHH!

I know you are one proud mom-ma. As well you should be!
Happy Birthday to Matt! and Thank you Kim for being a part of my project! I love you future me!

And just for fun....let's let Katrina and The Waves sing-Shall we?

Friday, March 15, 2013

"Wishy Washy"

"Have you lost your senses completely? He's a human....YOU'RE A MERMAID!" King Trition

Wishy Washy
Washy Wishy
A mermaid in a bubble bath?
Very Fishy!

And now, in honor of my favorite little mermaid's birthday...Here are a few tips on how to become a mermaid your self. Happy Birthday Ariel! I love you! Thank you for being part of my project!

5 ways to become a mermaid

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Pi Day 5K"


Calling all nerds and all Mathmeticians
and those of you with medical ambitions
Pi Day is here,
once again it has come!
So grab your new gear
join us for a 5K run!
Pi Day we celebrate! We run! And we eat!
We have a nerdy good time-
new shoes on our feet!
Blueberry to chocolate and all flavors in between
Come join in the fun this Thursday,
Three point fourteen!

For Eve.  Runner-thinker-doctor-nerd-friend.  Happy Happy Pi Day! Hope you have a gluten free slice and do some math or something awesome like that.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"The kid is a pro"

"Whatever you are doing, work at it with all your heart as to God and not for people"
 Colossians 3:23 NET BIBLE

The kid is a pro
didn't you know?
She dives she slides she swings and she catches
Softball's her thing
It's quite a show

She is not oblivious to the skills of the rest
but one things for certain 
she always does her best


you work harder than any kid I know. No joke!
From softball to basketball to art to school work to being a big sister to Ben, I know you give everything your best and I am proud to be your friend!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


"Adventure is worthwhile in its self" Amelia Earhart"

Polka dot dress and the hair red like fire, she followed her heart and soared even higher

RHM, may your days be filled with adventures impossible to imagine!!! I love you! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

"B-I-L's Cheesecake"

Finally! After years of prodding...BIL took the plunge and opened his own cheesecake shop.

Seems fitting the shop would open on his birthday! 

Sorry you have to make your own birthday cake Dwayne. I am so thankful you are part of my family. I love you! Thanks for taking care of Aims, God only knows that is a full time job! Love you sister, thank you for the constant support of my wacky ways and for being a part of my project.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Big Wish"

"What a fantastic reason to have a cupcake!"

Happy Happy Birthday to You
On your birthday what should  you do?
To skip the wish would be a mistake
It's the best day ever...
Have a cupcake!

It's your birthday-throw a party
make a big wish miss
smarty smarty!

I hope your birthday is a wonderful time with your beautiful family. I hope you know you are loved today and every single day all year long!  Thank you so much for your constant support of the Kenyan mission work and thank you so much for being a part of my project!  I love you!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Late Again"

"Some things just can't wait"

An excerpt from a poem by Dessa Lim from the site www.icecreamfreaks.com   

"Now, about this
funny ice cream diet,"
says my concerned doctor,
"you shouldn't have tried it."

"Why not?",I opposed
her medical view.
"You've gained more weight.
You're three hundred and two!"

"But I don't care!",
the words escaped from my lips.
"I like how ice cream
looks on my hips."

My dear friend Natalee-the one person in my life who can be late and I never get mad. I love you more than ice cream. (have you met me people? THAT is A LOT!) 

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Soul Glow"

In the same lil town where Lucy and Hariett reside, and in the same shopping district as Lucy's Boutique is a crafty little illumination station selling unique or  hard to find lighting and hand crafted guitars.  Mr and Mrs. Jones  are the proprietors. And yes, before you ask, THESE are the Jones's we are all supposed to be trying to keep up with. Good Luck!  They craft their merchandise by hand using re purposed discarded items. Their lighting is 2000% more energy efficient than main stream lamps. And the guitars they make? Quite frankly...they rock! Yea, this clever lil couple are in fact living the dream. They have each other, their craft and a passion for spreading light to the world seldom duplicated by any less than super heroes. The most interesting man in the world asks THEM for advise.

Below we feature a promotional ad for their 38th Annual Birthday Celebration.  

Item 01 "Aint No Sunshine When She's Gone"  The lamp perfect for your newly established "bachelor pad" and the darkness that envelopes your dwelling since you cheated on your girlfriend and she left you. 

Item 007 "The Living Daylite"  100% powered by solar energy but the panel is well concealed and no one will ever know.

Item 02 "Light My Fire" Perfect for environmentally conscience newlyweds with contemporary style. Base is made from salvaged burnt wood and features a dimmer switch for creating romantic ambiance. 

Item 03 "The Stones" Each hand crafted base is made of hand carved soap stone harvested from the Tabaka   Hills by Kissi villagers in Western Kenya.  Thru this project the Soul Glow organization employees numerous Kenyan Nationals enabling each to earn a living and provide for his or her family.  This item is Fair Trade Certified and all proceeds from the sale of this design are directed back into the villages of Kenya.  

G-6 I love you! Happy Happy Happy Birthday Roomie! Andrew, I know you make music but you totally married a rock star! And I'm so glad!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Ode to a lonely Couch"

Not knowing the "Couch to 5K" system would be such a success, the couch assumed
 his people would always be there.

In my mind I hear this "spoken word" poem as performed by the couch. Perhaps that lamp plays the upright base and a small round coffee table (not pictured) plays snare drum...Only the lamp is lit. The couches' voice sounds sort of like Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh. After he finishes his poem he just sits there. Pouting.

Lonely couch. Homely couch. 
No one to hold 
No warmth from the cold
No one's a slouch
I'm becoming a grouch

Tammy- I am as always so proud to be your friend. I was of course thinking of the day three years ago when you started working out. Who knew you would now be a runner? I love you! Thank you for being a part of my project (again).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"Coming Soon"

"The cure for anything is salt water, sweat, tears or the sea." Isak Deneson
Coming Soon to a beach chair near you.....the beautiful, the talented, the mother of three but oh my gosh did you check her out?  The one year older but who can tell?.......ANGIE!!!!
Happy Birthday Mrs. Erickson! If you were here I would bake you a cake and decorate it to look like the beach. I know you guys are doing great work in Pace and I can't wait to visit this summer....Perhaps we can sit in those chairs together.

And this song/video has made me happy for over a year now-I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Peace and Love"

If you can find the "Peace and Love" in this picture you win a prize. Okay well there is no prize but you will  know you validate me the artist. 
Question of the day...(feel free to answer quietly to yourself or reply via comment to this post if you so wish.)
What is the best present or surprise you have ever been given?  I asked my Fitness Director turned Trainer turned Friend turned "WONDER TWIN" that question a few years back. And yes by "A few years back" I mean it was a Sunday, in July, 2010 and I was wearing a red sun dress about to eat dinner provided by another friend and her husband, yes yes that's how my mind works. But really those details are not important. The interaction when like this:

Me: "What is the best present or surprise you have ever been given."
 about a half a second pause..
WT: "My bicycle" 

I myself do not have a road bike but I spent an hour every Tuesday and Thursday of 2009 in a Spinning class and I will admit to solving not only health issues while riding in place but the vast majority of the world's problems as I sat on that torture device they called a "cushioned" seat. It is true, I do not love to ride but in fairness? A booty like this and a seat like that were never meant to be so close. However,  my  friends who ride tell me of their grand adventures on the road and how they can think clear and sort things out while they ride and enjoy the beauty.  Must be something to that, Albert Einstein once said "I thought of it while riding my bicycle." He was talking about The Theory of Relativity.

Happy Happy Happiest of Birthdays WT! May your year be filed with miles and miles and miles of smiles!
And now....a little music for ya! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Pink Door

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." George Addair

She walked right up to it and to herself did  think
What could be behind a door so fancy, so pretty, so pink?
Where does it lead? What is behind it?
“I’ve lost something. Maybe HERE is where I’ll find it!
“or perhaps it’s a dragon…”  (whispered doubt)
Well two things are sure…
A wall is a wall and a door is a door.
A wall has a purpose to support, hold and hide.
A door though it’s different-it’s to come in or go outside.
Yes a wall is a wall but this door opens wide
“Could I?” She allowed her self to think about going inside.
Adventure I know it-is behind this door that’s pink
“I’ll try it-I’m ready…I think.
 For something exciting, an adventure brand new”
“One way to find out” she gulped as she sighed and she pushed that door open
and walked right on thru.

Britt-You are the best middle little sister on the planet. Thank you for also being such a great friend! You can do everything you want! You make me proud!!! I love you!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Roar! Roar! little dinosaur.
You are bigger each day than the day before.
More brave than anything behind the closet door.
Like the eagle you will soar, loved forever more
Perfect, little dinosaur!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tear Drop Peacock

May all the tears you cry be used to create something beautiful. May they be symbolic of your strength and pride.

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before--more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.” 
― Charles DickensGreat Expectations

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lucy Goes Red

"The way you see the world depends on how you look" Kenneth Cole

Red dress. Pouty face.
Shoulder bare, necklace just  there
Sexy-messy-big girl hair.
Dancin' shoes. Fancy moves.
No time to lose, girl gotsta cruise...
Curled and swirled and twirled.
Taken' over the world...
In that new red dress. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fashion Fo-Paws


As you may or may not know from previous blog posts. In my art mind there is a town and in that town are some super quirky folks who live above average lives. From time to time I find it good to drop in and see whats going on there.
Two recent events inspired this new work. One is retold in script form below and the other has to do with one of my most favorite people EVER. First let's talk about her.

It's odd to say but for some things I have a bionic-super hero-steel trap of a memory. Ask any of my close friends they will vouch. To be clear, those things I can recall in great detail are unfortunately of little universal importance and they do not include spelling words, foreign languages,or algebraic formulas. But if you want to know the exact location of chick peas in Kroger? I got that with GPS-like precision. If you want to know what song was playing while we tried on dresses for the 8th grade prom in a store that no longer exists, or what brand of perfume fell off the shelf at Kirk's Drugs breaking the bottle and spilling onto the floor when I was 3? (No I was not running or playing or dancing and no I did NOT deserve that lady with red fingernails taking me by the fat part of my arm to help me find my way back to my grandmother) I'm your gal. It's a blessing and a curse. (A: Take My Breath Away. In fact the soundtrack from Top Gun was playing. and B. Estee' Lauder)Point is I am fortunate to have such vivid recollections of what was a great childhood. If I filed my memories in any sort of order (really? please!) I would create a whole folder just for things that involved my friend/baby sitter/confidant/"aunt" Missie. I can not begin to explain how much she and her family have meant to me and mine over the years and it would be ill advised to elaborate on any "adventures" she taxied me and my pre-licensed friends to. (She was always more than willing to drive...the get-a-way car). I Can tell you though, she was the best! She would offer advise or silently listen depending on the need. She would help you hide out till the storm passed or encourage you to take off your Keds and dance in the parking lot while the rain poured down! All the while her make up was perfect and her fashion sense was impeccable. Now...HERE is where the crazy-brain memory is good to have. As I said the woman was all about fashion, Missie was one of the first people I knew who treated her shoes like family, bags too. I loved to look through her closet full of neatly stacked shoe boxes and carefully attended purses. She didn't mind if  I wore every twist-a-bead necklace she had as long as I put them back. Bracelets? Watches? Broaches? Oy! Carrie Bradshaw has nothing on this girl. My admiration and appreciation  are not easily expressed, suffice it to say, to me, Missie was "it". A fashion icon. (music swells....readers sigh....annndd...the record scratches!!!!!) OH yes! friends-trendy and fabulous and beautiful as she is, even my dear friend fell victim to a few "what were we thinking???" moments. I won't elaborate on the height of bangs-after all we grew up in the Pentecostal church. The memory that recently moved me and my sister to laughter is that of those clip on koala, panda, teddy bears people wore. Let me tell you all something...not only did my girl have all of the above, in true MRLC style, she was one step above the norm. Just a slight above the others... she had an ACTUAL clip on animal type thing. I gotta say it again. It was an ACTUAL DEAD ANIMAL FUR. A chinchilla as I recall. and do not mistake my shouting for judgement-oh no! As a third grade kid who admired miss priss and was well on my way to becoming one myself (thank you very much) I wanted nothing more than to wear that thing! I'm all grown up now with a shoe and bag and jewelry collection I believe would make Missie proud. I will spare us all the rehashing of other random fashion regrets (lace collars on sweat shirts? leg warmers? anyone?) We've all moved past those things now and the best thing to do is laugh. or perhaps write about it. and draw.

And now...an excerpt from "lunch in the Caff" (That's short for cafeteria for future reference and is not pronounced cafe', let's don't be pretentious here kids)

AK: "What should I wear on Sat?"
Lucy: "For sure you should wear the cow neck sweater"
Harriet: "the blue one"
AK: "I don't like turtle necks-but I do like a cow neck"
Lucy: "I don't know what color-but I know it looks good on you"
Harriet: "The blue one- ohhh or grey- I like the grey one, you look good in grey"
AK: "And I don't know if they exist-but I wouldn't like a goose neck sweater either"
Lucy: "you know I don't remember things"
Harriet: "Remember the grey dress you tried on that I loved? Oh-grey is your color"
AK: "I also have a red cow neck"

The following Saturday, AK wore the red cow neck, with dark jeans and killer boots. Everything was perfect until she grabbed her bright yellow wool coat on the way to the car. Once inside the restaurant, catching a glimpse of  the red and yellow combo in the mirror behind the bar she couldn't hide her disappointment and said out loud "oh no! I'm ketchup and mustard!"
So close AK...so close.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"U Be U"

As I said a few days ago, I have been so excited for the project in March that I find it difficult to wait on new sketches and new paintings. So...WHY WAIT???  This lil number was created with my "TN Twin's daughter in mind but it's such great advice to us all.  

When they all stand still, a limited few will…Dance! If given the chance,
Some will twirl and shout! And squirm about and spread the nonsense.
The hushers may come-the cross lookers-nay sayers-dream squishers might too
To them I say “Hisssss! Boo! Hisss and once again…boooooo!”

Twirl! little girl! 
Dream in the day time and share that silly heart
Dance in the rain if you want to, sing songs that don’t rhyme
Don clothes that don’t match if that’s what you’d like
Frinkle faced friend of mine. 

For the  Pixie,  
I came to know you at a time when I needed a pixie in my life the most! And man am I glad! You might not do it on purpose but then again a gal with your moxy just might...YOU INSPIRE ME! I love you so!