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Author Archive


A little encouragement goes a long way

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wall-mural-flowersWhat’s the worst that can happen when we try something new to us?

We can fail, but would we not be less of a person if we did not  try at all?

This time of year is bittersweet for me, those of you who know me, know why.

I share with you the  very first painting I ever did, it was on my dining room wall, I came home from my best friends after a conversation with her about wall stencils that she was going to pay 150.00 for, just the stencil, not the paint or the brushes.  It sparked something in my Gemini rising brain and I said.. “Diane, I could do that”, she looked at me quizzically and said, “well, okay”.  She was a little more excited than my husband was, when I stormed  into the house and out of the blue said, “I am painting a picture tomorrow on the dining room wall”

Well, he was less than enthusiastic and understanding and I am pretty sure he thought, what is she smoking?

That’s when it started, the spark turned into a flame and when ever I sit in my studio/computer room at some point and time, I think of Diane.   Some of those thoughts are sad ones, but most bring a smile to my face.  Near the end of her life, I had an issue in my professional life, and needless to say it did not end well, I will also say, whenever my phone rang I was scared of the news on the other end.

One morning, before 5 am, my phone rang, my heart sank and I thought the worst.  A tiny voice on the other end said to me…

“Are you okay?, I worried about you all night”

“I know how upset you were yesterday about your job, it will all work out, don’t worry.”

It was Diane – and it wasn’t but a few days later and she was gone.

Try something new, now – you do not know what tomorrow will bring.

A little encouragement and concern goes along way..

Categories : paintings
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Close to You – Pencil Sketch From Photo

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Couple In Love SketchI chose that title, because if you have not heard the song by Stevie Ray Vaughan or The Doors, please check it out.  It’s throaty, heartfelt blues.

It’s by Willie Dixon who had an influence over many musicians worldwide.

I wanna be close to you baby as I can get
Close to you baby as water is wet
Close to you baby as hair on your head
Close to you babe you better believe what I said

This is Miguel & Lleraldy and from his words to me, this is why he had this picture drawn, in his own words, let his lady hear them…

I chose this gift because I think its something unique, its not something you get as gift all the time, not like just a regular ole picture in a frame and these kind of drawings are hard to get sometimes and sometimes people don’t make em look alike.  So I think its something people will appreciate and I think that every time my girlfriend sees this sketch it will remind her of that special day, because this is a unique gift, so that’s why I chose this gift.

Now…I can tell what this person means to me.

Lleraldy means so much, she just plain and simple makes me happy.  She can turn my worst days into better ones with just a aimple  smile.  She’s a great and special person in my life and I’m very thankful for that.  She deserves the best and I want her to have the best Birthday ever.  I’m always gona be here for her and….. I LOVE HER!

Happy belated birthday Lleradly – I have had many conversations with many people through-out the country and through out life, and Miquel’s excitement and enthusiasm over this project made it easier!

When I do a sketch from a photo it’s a little tough, being self taught,   Many people do not grasp the concept that this is a sketch and not a photograph, it’s an artist’s interpretation, when I am given pictures of people, it sometimes is hard to see the real person behind the photo,  this project was one that through Miquel’s  excitement came to life very easily..

Categories : Pencil Sketches
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Artist In Residence – Jon Bon Jovi

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jon-bon-jovi-pencil-sketchThe man behind the glasses is Jon Bon Jovi.

This was done about 3 years ago, for Jilly, my little sister that I never had.

I ran across Bon Jovi on MSN this morning and this is a guy that has extreme talent and shares his gifts with the world, making a difference.

Bon Jovi’s new We Weren’t Born to Follow is a must see, must listen, it’s got spunk, but more so it has a clear message in it and has a heart of it’s own full of  meaning.

We were not born to follow, we were born to be part of a team, any team you desire, it’s at your fingertips.  There is always someone out there that needs help.  There are no problems, there are only solutions.

We have to hold onto what we believe!! Why is it that we stray from that so often.  Finding our voice and using it, that’s a real tough thing to do.  With singers and musicians, it comes through so clearly, that’s why we find so much peace within the music.  They say often times what it is that we can’t.

Follow what you believe! Stand tall, stand strong, stand up for someone who needs your help.  Stand up for someone who just needs to hear that they have someone in their corner!.

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Being Among Friends – Wake Up Call

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There is something said to being among friends! I won’t put any names here, and I know within a few short hours, I’ll be getting a call!

Yesterday, I got a call, one that made me realize what terrific friends are out there to be had, not only in one instance, but in several yesterday.  What a wake up call … if we pay attention to the little things.

The beautiful woman, who made us dance!

The kind gentleman who told us even if it was overcast, what a glorious day it was to dance,  as he sipped his lemonade!

The old friend who gave us many wise words that have meaning for all.  Here is only one line….(When you point a finger at someone, stop….look…. how many fingers are pointing back at you??)

The first text message wishing me a happy birthday from someone whose sense of humor is over the top.. go look at, he’s expanded my vocabulary.

The friend that said he left me a voice mail singing me happy birthday, which I never got, and not sure I believe he did, but I could actually use that as a marketing piece.

Lastly, but not least, the friend that called and called me a dumb ass, when HE didn’t know when my birthday was!  That friend called to talk about some issue’s that could have turned to larger issue’s, for that I thank him!

This is where friendship becomes a bridge in your life, and you realize there are people out there that are willing to put themselves, their troubles and their joy on the line.  Concern over fallout, of issue’s in our lives, of emotions that we may be struggling with, of situations that don’t make us look the best when exposed.

A garbage can is a garbage can, no matter what you choose to use it for, it holds our trash!

Friends don’t see it that way, it’s all of that, the that’s  that draws one to a another, the good, the bad, the ugly and of course the joy we feel when we know we are loved, in every way, shape or form.

Wake Up…

Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call


Categories : inspiration, Thoughts
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Lend a Hand

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This was an original sketch that was on put on the chopping block for Children of Fallen Riders,  the one that made the cut for the T-Shirts can be seen below, but I thought it a good one to go with this post.

Lend a hand…why? BECAUSE you can!

Yes, Buck, Mickey & all anyone else that would like to chime in, I am one of the worse culprits of taking help.  My strong suit is giving it, I have now worked for two months on the COFR project, it’s brought some interesting folks into my life.

I am not a rider, but have listened to some stories that raised the erector pili’s (look it up), and have heard the passion in several voices about the cause.  This is not a post to push the cause, it’s a post to push lending a hand, no matter what or where you do so, you will walk away with a sense of pride and satisfaction.

It’s all about learning, walking away with an education on something you know nothing about.   Forming new networks, whether in your everyday life, or online, there is a plethora of people out there that can help, IF they so choose.

Realizing that what you hold passionate, other’s may not, but you know…respect them for trying!

There are those that step up to the plate, and there are those that just sit in the dug out.  Do you want to be in the dug out all the time? Or do you want to get up to bat and give it your all?

I am not sure where you can find a driving force but when you look deep down within yourself, you can find something to put your all into.  Why is it, that so many people seem to be putting their all into Negative B.S. ? Move on folks, and spread your wings, be happy for someone.  Learn from someone, take a chance and put your B.S. to rest!

If you don’t, it will come back to you someday, in some way and you may have just bitten off the hand that holds your fate..

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Children Of Fallen Riders

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Children Of Fallen Riders

Soul-to-Soul and TechJaws together are raising money to support Children of Fallen Riders, an upcoming charity event being held on September 13th, in Fox Lake Illinois, called The Magic Carpet Ride.

Bikers come from many walks of life from business men to blue collar workers. No matter what kind of person you are the wind through your hair and the two wheels beneath you are like no feeling that compares.

Bikers are husbands, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and friends. When the loss of any one of those happens there are people left behind with financial burden. Children of Fallen Riders support those that are left behind and we are asking you to reach down in your heart and donate to this great charity. Whether it be a $1.00 or $2.00 every little bit counts, you can make the difference.

Whatever amount you donate, your name and a permanent link to your website will be placed below as a thank you from Soul-to-Soul, TechJaws and Children of Fallen Riders. (Please do not forget to provide us your website when you donate)

Our Thanks goes to:
Connect with Your Teens – Jennifer your donation is appreciated!
Jason – Thanks Brother in Art –
The HART Empire – Thanks
Frank – You all know where he’s at!


Categories : Pencil Sketches
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For some reason, at the time of Stevie’s death, I was unfamiliar with his music, yeah, I heard him on the radio, but did not pay much attention.

I will tell you though, I remember exactly where I was and who I was with.  The who I was with, I’d much rather leave out of this post, but I was at Kelsey Road House in Lake Barrington having lunch.

I heard the breaking news, and said, “wow, my husband always talked about seeing him at Poplar Creek, and he was phenominal, Buck will miss him.

After that, his music and his soul came into my life in a powerful way.  My passion for drawing Stevie is something I doubt will ever die.  I have become friends with someone who knew him personally and the guy opened his life and his generosity to me in more ways than I can tell you about.

If you haven’t spent the money, go check out – You Can’t Stop a Comet by Cutter Brandenburg. This is by far worth the money and it’s written in Texas hick and chaulked full of awesome pictures.

Thanks Cee !

Watching Stevie video’s you will see the passion he had for music and playing guitar, I understand that he had this passion about life and people as well.  Dedicated to friends and family and dedicated to his fans.

Would Vaughan have continued on a course of fame? Some say no, I have to believe for some reason he was leant to us for the short amount of time to impact us.  19 years later and local radio stations here in Chicago on a daily basis play his shattering blues tunes.  19 years later, his name is known worldwide, 19 years later people still debate if he was better than Clapton – The answer to that last question is – by far in my opinion as a musician and a person.

19 years after his demise, Stevie Ray Vaughan and his legacy are still alive and well in many hearts.  To quote Cee – “Stevie knows your passion for music”

In June of this year, another Vaughan went to heaven to hear the angels sing, his mother passed away.   4 years prior to Stevie’s death in 1990 – his father died on the same day of August 27th..

Pump up the volume and listen to what Stevie has to say, his spirit lives within each of us through every cord recorded..

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Ginger or Mary Ann?

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ginger-baker-pencil-sketchYes I thought Ginger Baker was a woman and well, I thought Grace Slick was Black, so are you surprised?

Tomorrow marks his 70th year on our planet.  Happy 70th Birthday to Ginger Baker

70 and still able to jam and is still one of the world’s greatest drummers.  Can you imagine still going strong on drums at 70.  I couldn’t until a few months back I decided I was going to learn.  Wow.. what a work out.  Not only mentally but physically.  The physically part I haven’t mastered, but I am learning what a 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 is.  I never knew what high hat was either, thought that was something in a Dr. Seuss Book.

Ginger pounds out a long drum solo on Toad, amazingly so, I sit and watch this, and try and listen to the “parts” of music that I have ingnored for so long.

We all take for granted the “pieces” that put the puzzle together, and until you start opening your eyes, or in this case your ears, you won’t get the big picture.  I guess this can go for almost everything in life really, consider SEO, there are so many elements, and us as bloggers just know it, others sit with their mouths open in amazement when we talk about all the “elements” or “pieces”.

This can be said for music too, for all you folks out there that don’t play, I encourage you to sit down with some kick-ass head phones, I have stolen my son’s Skull Candy with Bass Effect.. listen to the music and try to focus on one instrument.. it ain’t as easy as it sounds.  My husband has tried to get me to do this for years, but I honestly was just to damn lazy.

Now on my quest to learn drums, I find it amazing how all the pieces are there, but for so long, I  have just chosen to hear them as one.    In every facet of life, we can clump things together, missing crucial pieces, take the time today to focus on one single solitary piece of something today… it will help you focus.

If you haven’t ever watched a drum solo, go do it, there is so much energy that goes behind it.

Happy Birthday Ginger Baker – keep the sticks flying for as long as possible!.

Categories : Pencil Sketches
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Stumbling Your Way Finding Friends

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Twenty some years ago, I heard a song on the radio that I fell in love with, it reminded me so much of where I was at the time in my life and yes at that time, I listened to a judy-rodman-musiclot of country music.

The opening lyrics

There’s a room in my father’s house
Full of old heirlooms
Grandma’s Bible, Grandpa’s trunk
To a total stranger no more than junk
The closest ties I ever knew
Until I met you

Finally one day the announcer said her name – Judy Rodman – quick to go to the store, and quickly disappointed, they didn’t have it.  There were no Best Buys or Super Walmarts, that’s when you actually had record stores.  Oh, how I miss Full Cyrkle Records!

I had to order it, and still have the cassette to this day.

Well, twenty some years later, stumbling my way through blogging and social networking, I started investigating my stumble friends & people who were subscribed.  I found in there a woman with a name that sparked a memory of those years long past.

Judy Rodman – I investigated her blog and realized this has to be the same woman whose music danced into my heart all those years ago.

I sent her a note through stumble upon asking her, and telling her how that song danced into my life all those years back and to this day I still listen to it, yes it was one and the same.

She has been a wonderful stumble friend and her blog is full of information on music and her teachings, she a remarkable woman and musical talent.  I am proud to know her.

We have such opportunity in front of us with social networking and it is amazing to me the people it has brought into my life.  We all want stumbles and reviews, we all want our blog’s to get noticed, but taking the time to see who is noticing us and helping us out is how it pay’s forward.

This sketch is a complilation of Judy  – she sent me a beautiful picture of her playing piano at Bluebird and the one that she uses on her stumble profile.  I used these two along with some photoshop work on what her song brings to my mind.

Grandma’s bible and grandpa’s trunk  – and the house in the backdrop is my family home where I grew up, one of which my dad built with blood, sweat and tears.

Go look and see who may be in your group of social may be surprised at what you find..

Categories : Pencil Sketches
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How Deep are the Waters – Shark Week

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Andy McKeeThe week has wrapped up at Tech Jaws Shark Week – Frank over there is a good friend of mine and I am always amazed at all the information and people he finds online.

After all, he found me, over at.. the  defunct entrecard – Frank has taught me about friends, family and fun.. as well taking me under his wing and teaching me the in’s and outs of blogging.  As well as Business Plan’s – which my friend, I’ve done nothing with…yet..

Frank never fails to be a stumble away or an instant message answering my questions! THANKS MAN! CHEERS!

This is a sketch of Andy McKee, I am using this picture of him and him as a reference because this is not normally something I would listen to and online networking is something not all people are into, but the possibilities are so unlimited.

No matter how deep the waters are, we need to test them to find our place.

Stepping into shallow waters is your best bet when it comes to finding your niche.   Don’t dive into the pool until your certain the waters are deep enough or shallow enough in some cases.   My son introduced me to Andy McKee and when I read his bio – it explains how he brings something new to the industry.

We should all bring something new to our own lives, whether it’s people, hobbies or music.

Frank – thanks for showing me some of the ropes and opening my eyes to many things.. we love you with all our hearts..

Everyone else reading this, learn from others, teach others and never forget to listen to someone that you may not always listen too.. no matter what, there is something they can teach you..

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