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Art for the Young at Heart

Christmas Ornaments

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a huge advocate for animals. I love the idea of teaching every child to admire, respect and cherish animals so that they grow into future adults that would pass along the same message.... I strongly believe that it is our responsibility to always be a voice for the voiceless. So this year's Christmas ornaments include a few of my favorite animals, which I am really hoping to develop into an entirely new ornament line specifically dedicated to animals. I have added a few of my favorites to start and I will really try to add photos as I design them. Trying to be more organized this year, (we'll see if I can actually be). Wish me luck on that.Polar Bear Ornament group_400 Brown Bear Ornament group_400 And of course, you have to have a few snowmen! Snowman Ornament_grp_400_2

New Studio

It's finally complete and clean enough to actually take pictures, which is totally rare because I can destroy this space in about 5 minutes. I love being next to a bright sunny window to work, what a huge difference.....

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And I have a total weakness for fresh flowers! They always seem to cheer me up no matter what is going on that day.

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I think every mom that is kind enough to grocery shop, cook meals etc....deserves to treat themselves to a few fresh flowers every week.

 

It's a Circus

I just received my original artwork back from Somerset Studios and wanted to share the close up here. I was super excited to have the opportunity to be included among so many talented artists! This one is called "Balance is Tricky".......

 

And this one is "The Juggling Act"......

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And my very favorite..."For The Love of Bears"......

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Getting Published

Thank You Stampington & Company for featuring my artwork in your beautiful March 2014 issue!!! I am thrilled to be included in this gorgeous magazine featuring amazing artwork and creative ideas!!! Soemrset Studios2

 

Be sure to check it out if you haven't yet!

Somerset Studios 4

Circus Lion and Bear

More fun with polka dot paintings! I am loving the combination of gray and brown for nursery decor. It's a color combination that not only looks beautiful, but can be used for both boys and girls to create a beautiful nursery that can be enjoyed for many years to come! Plus these lightweight canvasses are completely nerf-ball proof , which is super important in my house. lionandbearart

Marathon Weekend

We had a wonderful get a away weekend spending time with great friends, shopping, eating (too much) and watching the runners of the Chicago Marathon. I recently took my camera in for some tweaking and was able to get some great photos of the event as well as some beautiful photos from our zoo visit later in the day.

I love spending time down in the city! There is always so much to do and the people are all so friendly and helpful. Being a rooky, the learning curve can be steep at times but there is always a welcoming Chicagoan to help you out if you get completely lost as I tend to do.

Congrats to all of the Marathon heros that finished, great job!

 

Loved this quote!

 

Amazing

I had to share this video of two wonderful people that braved the rain to save this poor pregnant, abandoned dog and her unborn puppies. They restore your faith in humanity with their gentle kindness.

http://www.godvine.com/Pregnant-Dog-Her-Unborn-Puppies-are-Saved-From-Certain-Death-3757.html

Lollipop Fields

I actually just finished this one-what a beautiful day is it here in Chicago too. I hope you're having a great weekend and doing something that you really enjoy too.

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Fields of Lollipops

I have been super busy lately trying to get the new studio set up and organized, which is incredibly difficult for me because I am constantly distracted by so many ideas for new paintings. I will post pictures as soon as it's complete, promise. If nothing else it is a great motivator for me to finish it in a somewhat organized manner, (hopefully soon). In the meantime, here's a new piece that I have been working on lately. studio9.21.13_edited-1

I am totally obsessed with lollipops. Crazy I know, but  I actually think their colors are beautiful for children's art. I have been focusing on creating inspirational work that can apply to all children, whether they are a boy or girl. Especially if you're doing a first nursery, what a great idea to design it in a way that can be used forever and does not need to be redone with each future child that you may want to have.

Studio makeover

Well it's official, my college graduate has moved out. It took awhile for me to accept this because I really, really want a do over, but nope life changes, kids grow up, college and then they head out on their own as adults. Really? But, weren't you just going off to kindergarten?

I know this is what it's all about so ......after his room has sat empty for the past 8 months or so, (sort of a shrine to my son), who I thought just might change his mind and come back but no such luck (which really isn't normal or healthy anyway), I have decided to move my painting studio into his former room after decades of painting in the basement.

I am super excited to have my own space, above ground and with windows. I can't even tell you!!!! We are just starting the transformation, so check back in to see the changes that we're making to the place! Oh and also lots of new artwork in the works!!!

studioredo

"Ye Harm None"

We were driving back from dropping my daughter off at college for her senior year, (so excited I can barely believe it), and I saw this adorable little blue and white Mini Cooper humming down the interstate. You know the cute ones, that have sort of a British look to them? Just adorable! But, what struck me even more was the bumper sticker on the back- "Ye Harm None." I love that saying! Wouldn't it be awesome if we could all think that way? Kind of makes you stop and think doesn't it? The Magical Balloon Ride

 

Memorial Day

Every Memorial Day for as long as I can remember has been spent attending parades and cook outs with family and friends. Paying tribute to our brave and dedicated troops that unselfishly risk all that they are to protect us and our personal freedoms that we so often take for granted. But this year feels very different to me. Just this past month a high school classmate of mine lost her son in the war in Afghanistan. Her son had only just been deployed a few months ago and I know she was wrought with worry and concern from the time he left. Then just a few weeks ago, she received the call that he had been injured by flying shrapnel and as soon as he was stable, was going to be airlifted to Germany for medical care. It was only a matter of a week and we received the news that he had passed away.

Her son, Sam, was the same age as my son, 22 years old. My heart just breaks for her and her family. I cannot even imagine the heartbreak and loss that this family will endure for the rest of their lives. I cannot even imagine losing my child or any other child to war.

These selfless brave souls are mothers, daughters and sisters and fathers, brothers and sons who are all loved. I am praying today especially for the end of this war and all wars around the world and that someday the world will truly exist in peace with mutual respect for all of our differences.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvtQzZmdX-E

Bust a Move

I have been doing a lot of reading lately about the power that our own thoughts possess. Kind of along the lines of that famous quote by Thomas Edison- "If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." So often we find ourselves filled with doubts for whatever reason, whether it's our emotions, academic capabilities, athletic capabilities, job, etc. and I think this self doubt can really exhaust us when really all we need to do is dig in full steam ahead and give things our all. This is rarely easy and requires focus, discipline and usually some really hard work and sacrifice.

Whenever you're feeling doubtful, scared or maybe even a little down, try to squeeze something into your day that brings you pure joy. You know, something you really, really love. It could be 1/2 hour reading your favorite book before bed, going for a walk, gardening or even listening to your favorite music? I think we all need to give ourselves a little bit of joy here and there. Life is short so go for it!

Have a great weekend!!!!

Grow A Little

Hope you're having a great weekend and enjoying this beautiful spring like weather! I know I am loving seeing all of the spring bulbs in bloom, fresh air and the sun shining! With all of the budding flowers, I just felt like I had to paint a few flowers today to go with the theme of the day.

I also love the idea that no matter what age we are, whether things are great in our lives or we are going through some "not so great" times, we can all learn from our experiences and change for the better. I am not saying this is always easy, in fact it's probably easier to not change at all. But if becoming a better person in whatever form you see fit is on your list of goals, we all have the potential for that each day. Forgive yourself for any errors that you have made along the way, (we are all only human), and start tomorrow working on those changes that you would like to make. One day at a time and little by little, great things are possible.

Sale Event

I am so excited to have been invited to be a member of the Etsy Baby Team! There are so many beautiful and unique baby items to purchase for your own baby or as gifts. I just love handmade one of a kind things and this group of very talented artisans have so much to choose from. From 3/16/12 through 3/31/12 Free Shipping from the entire group on Etsy, just enter coupon code ETSYBABYSTORK and shop to your heart's content. You can access my shop on the upper right of this site or at http://www.etsy.com/shop/KathyMayDesigns.

Thanks for visiting!

Free Shipping Event

Sports

I am really missing my kids lately. My son is now 22 (yikes) and my daughter just turned 21 (unbelievable). It's hard to believe that they are moving on as young adults, one almost done with college and one new grad that has begun his young career in the work force. It seems like just yesterday when we were racing around every weekend like crazy people, stressed out and frazzled. I was always wondering how I was going to ever recover from all of the time away from home, all that had to be done before work on Monday, etc. It felt like my house was always a post bomb war zone, never organized enough, always tired and anxious. So much to do and so little time.

But you know what, after all of those years of "racing" around and sitting at endless sports events, I would go back to it in a second. I know this sounds totally cliche, but it is the truth. If I were a young mom, I would probably be rolling my eyes while I was reading this. I remember people telling me as a young mom, "Enjoy those kids!" And me thinking, "Are you crazy? I haven't slept in 2 nights, they have been fighting non stop for the past day and my daughter just tried to flush her blanket down the toilet and God only knows what that will cost?"

But the time really does fly, even though you may be feeling in the trenches as I did. Looking back I am so glad that I was always there when I could be and that really was what mattered most. The sports or activities meant everything to my kids as they were growing up and that one of us was usually sitting there cheering them on meant even more.

It was all so important because it didn't mean they were Olympic champions, but it most definitely helped teach them so many valuable life lessons. To be on time, do your best to your ability, be competitive, be a gracious winner and a good sport when you are not. It also taught them that we love them win or lose, that we will show up too no matter what.

So now looking back, there is still always dusting that needs to be done and I have plenty of time to clean and organize my house and even sleep in on the weekend if I choose, but my kids have just about moved on with their lives but have taken with them a whole bunch of incredible memories from all of those crazy, insane weekends.

So yes, cliche I know, but really do try to enjoy them while you have them because they really are only passing through.

Hoping you have a great racing around weekend.

Kathy

Kindness Always

Polar Bears

I have been painting polar bears lately and having so much fun creating them with paints and pastes. They truly are magnificent animals! I found the video below on You Tube as I was doing some sketching and if you have a few minutes and are a lover of animals take a few minutes to watch. The pictures are beautiful! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lSlbOjNSNs

After watching I translated the images to this:

"Polar Bear Love"

The Beauty of Animals

One of the things that I have always loved and been concerned with are the incredible animals that we share this earth with. Animals that in recent years are undergoing enormous environmental changes and still struggling to endure these changes and survive as best they can. Whether the causes are "global warming", human consumption, littering or just the earth's changes I am growing more and more concerned that if these changes do continue they will have an irreversible effect on these beautiful creatures. I think it is so important that we as individuals treat animals with love and dignity at all times. It breaks my heart when I see animals needlessly suffering. Let's teach our kids to see and appreciate the beauty in these wonderful animals.

Fly Tribe Word Hop 2012

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have been blessed to be included within an exceptional group of very, very talented fellow artists that was formed last summer as a result of us all being enrolled in an online course offered by the extremely talented, Kelly Rae Roberts called "Summer 2011 Flying Lessons". I must admit I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I signed up for this course. I only knew that I had a lot to learn if I was ever going to make this dream a reality. The course began early Summer 2011 and since then nothing has felt the same.

As the new year begins, my wonderful group of very talented fellow artists, which we call the Fly Girls, decided that it only seemed natural as we venture through this journey as artists and entrepeneurs that we each select a single word that will best represent our goals and intentions for the coming year 2012. This word will serve as a constant reminder of what we set out to accomplish next year.

With so many words to choose from it was a difficult decision for me to choose just one word, but I have chosen the word "perseverance". For me as an artist developing my own business has been really challenging on so many different levels that I know this is something that I really need to constantly work on in order to reach the goals that I have set for myself. No excuses, not exhaustion, rejection or putting other tasks before my art work this year. I plan to keep working harder and longer and doing whatever it takes.

Just click on the image below to visit my fellow "Fly Girls" blogs they have each written about their Word for 2012, I know you will be left feeling extremely motivated and inspired by these amazing gals! Plus you might just great some great ideas for your own goals in this coming year!

Fly Tribe Word Hop 2012

Yoga Ornaments

Wow! I can't believe how fast time is flying by this month! I haven't had a chance to post anything here in quite awhile. I have been super busy the past few weeks filling some last minute Christmas Orders that I received and I was so happy with how they turned out:

Peace Sign Ornaments:

"Om" Ornaments:

And my favorite:

"Namaste" Ornaments:

"Namaste" Christmas Ornament

It is so much fun to have the chance to create something entirely new and unique!

I hope that you like them!!!