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Jan
08

Crosses to Bare

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birch-bark-crossI painted this cross about two years ago, in front of a church in Wauconda, about 10 feet high and 6 feet wide.. it’s made to look like birch bark and it was befitting to add to this post.

We all have our crosses to bare, and we all have issues in our lives that keep us from being the true people we can be.

Shine!

Let your true self come through! You will be amazed at what you can accomplish and how it will effect you as well as those around you!

Dwelling on the crosses that we have to bare will only drain your soul.  We make decisions for a reason, we are in situations for a reason, learning to understand those reasons is one big mystery, but it can also be a lesson plan for our future..

Categories : paintings, Thoughts
Comments (14)
Dec
19

Leather and Lace

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Seriously, it’s been a month since I wrote? Shame on me!!

I’ve been a bit pre-occupied,  leathers-4u-outdoor-sign the news is, I am a business owner now.

The picture of this sign does not do it justice – what so ever, so you’ll have to stop by and see the real deal.

The idea of Leathers 4U began in August, I was not sure it would ever be a reality, and I never thought I would be a “partner” in a new business either.

You will be able to read more on the “inception” at – Leathers 4U Blog when I get the words written properly on how it all started, my partner has a way with words.. but I need to clean them up!

Leather Jackets, Leather Vests, Leather Chaps and much more will be stocked on the shelves of Leathers 4U, even some sexy undies, if Tim stops giving them all away!

The last month has been a learning experience that makes a mind tired.  Contractors, Distributors & Corporation Lawyers, Accountants, and starting an online website for selling,  my heads going to explode. (no not really)

The website would not have been possible without Frank – Tech Jaws, and the hours he spent implementing and teaching me “cart systems.” Forever Frank, I am at your mercy!

Buck’s Guitar Modifications – my husband and without his support and urging, this would not have moved forward.  Wait until you see the old gas pump that he fixed up to put in the showroom.

Jimmy the electrician/contractor/painter and all around, get it done kinda guy has been invaluable! His website will be up shortly – Residential Maintenance Electrician – it’s only a shell right now!

The showroom is going to be gorgeous, with the Opera House Carpet and the Fiji Flooring from Carpets 4U the place is taking shape, the phone is starting to ring and we are gearing up to open in January 2010.

Stay tuned…..

Categories : paintings
Comments (8)
Nov
09

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
Comments (4)
Jul
17

Spread Your Wings

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Pegasus Horse PaintingThis is a piece I forgot I had in my portfolio of paintings and sketches.

This was the first time I worked on wood of this magnitude.  This is a sign for Merritt and Associates Equine Hospital in Wauconda, Illinois.

Spreading your wings, this can be in any aspect of your life.  Being a self taught artist and self taught blogger I guess that’s a fitting title.  We all have the capabilities within ourselves to spread our wings.

I think back often to a scene in Dances with Wolves, when Kevin Costner is on his horse and rides over a ridge, all you see is vast green land, that was the American Frontier.  I can’t even imagine how breath taking that would be in real life.

Can you imagine spreading your wings and seeing something like that, I envy those that take big chances, but I also know that you can close your eyes and envision things and that will help bring you closer to spreading your wings.

Start spreading those wings – try a new food, a new drink, pick up a camera and take a picture, buy yourself a domain name and start blogging, share a silly secret with a friend, listen to someone’s story about a sad childhood and just be there to tell them they didn’t deserve that,  there are all sorts of ways to  spread your wings.  We all can’t run off to see the American Frontier but we can make our lives better by trying new things and being open to new experiences..

Categories : paintings
Comments (1)
Jun
11

Have a Little Cheese with the Whine

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wine-grapes-paintingIn the suburbs of Chicago since the beginning of March the bad weather days have out weighed the good one’s by 5 to 2.

I don’t quite know what’s in the air, whether it’s the struggling economy – and who isn’t sick of that excuse. Or if there is a shift in the planets, or if the “I don’t give a crap” attitude is spreading like the swine flu.

I’ve noticed a change not only in myself but in others around me as well  others around me have been telling me that they feel just down right “crabby” for no apparent reason. Even the checker at goodwill felt it necessary today to tell me her “bad ju-ju”

Got me to thinking, what makes us crabby or down in the dumps and thought I would share some ways to shake it.

So, put down the whine and grab some cheese, I recommend Baby Swiss or top some popcorn with some shredded asiago!

Don’t listen to sad music, no matter what’s going on in your life, throw on some Aerosmith and listen to Steven Tyler Just Push Play!

Go buy yourself a car-jar from Yankee Candle that will bring back a fond memory – THANKS Krissy for the Sun & Sand recommendation – I think I’ll just go hang out in my car, close my eyes and think about Mexico, while listening to “The Guitar Hurricane – SRV – favorite of mine.

Spend one day a week with someone that makes you laugh, just because they are goofy.

Don’t repeat bad vibes or words over & over throughout the day, as Becky would say, let go, let god. Don’t dwell in other words.

Have a beer – Corona Light works well – Share it with your cat if he wants!

Write a note, not an email to someone telling them you have thought good thoughts of them.

Say hello to anyone that crosses your path today or tomorrow.

If your on a diet, eat something small that’s not on it.

Close your eyes for 10 minutes and remember something that made you happy, a time that made you warm & fuzzy.  A time that meant something to you that shook you to the core.  A time that was spent with a best friend, a finished project, a warm sunny day, a taco, a waiter that never allowed you an empty drink, a waiter that took a bite out of your hamburger.. anything positive that made the corners of your mouth turn up!

Spreading a good vibe is part of the process of creating a good self worth and a good self esteem.  My sister always said, it’s a good day when you can wipe your own back end and tie your own shoes.

Over & Out.

Comments (8)
Jun
06

Magic Carpet Ride

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carpets-4-u-mural1

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in almost 3 weeks, but I have had my hands full! It beat the 12 foot ladder and this 20 x 5 foot mural is my latest creation and the story behind it has been a Magic Carpet Ride!

Atop that 12 foot ladder at Classic Muscle Cars, in burst the carpet guy with a, ” holy crap that’s cool, call me when your done with Tony, I want a picture in my store, do you need a room carpeted?

“Yeah.. I have a  small room in need of carpet”

I did some pre-lim drawings after talking to carpet guy and he chose his 55 Chevy – then he came to measure my “small room”, which by the way is the entire upstairs of my house.. and he said.. “whose getting a deal here? This is a lot of damn carpet!”

The barter factor kicked in, and you can now find Tim Adkins – Carpets 4 U II on the web, it’s a work in progress… and I need my son’s room carpeted!

Someone recently made a comment to me about my artwork… ” do you really like doing that? Do you get good money for “stuff” like that?”

Sorta pissed me off, anyone who knows me knows that I like to be creative!

Yeap! Ya gotta do things ya like, you never know where it will take you and what opportunities it will put in front of you.  I love marketing and meeting new people from all walks of life.

I’ve met some really decent people while working with Tim in the past few weeks.  Amy his secretary is just one of them and yes Amy, I will  pull your picture off the site but ya gotta get me a good one and we’ll get it up next week.

We are putting a marketing plan together, you may just hear me on the radio soon!

I also have some cool guest writers coming up so stop on in…

Mark Campbell from SoulShaker a friend of Steve Marriot’s is gonna share a few stories!

As well as some insight on playing music from Reed Terry!

Stay tuned.

Categories : paintings
Comments (1)
May
07

Step Aerobics & Self Doubt

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img_1828I have muscles in my ass I didn’t know existed!

That is a 12 foot ladder you see, the place is N.I.C.A.B – Northern Illinois Classic Auto Brokers or aka – Custom Muscle Cars

Saturday May 9th, NICAB is hosting an open house – this is a facilty that I have passed on Rt. 12 many times, but knew little about.

I was hired to do an American Flag for them, I img_1829questioned myself over & over about this job.  I am not the most “graceful” person on the planet and envisioned myself dropping pints of paint from a top the ladder and watching it crash down onto priceless cars below me.

Not to mention the glass cases that are entwined throughout the facility housing Elvis, Beatles and img_1831many pieces of rock memorabilia.

I even contemplated at 1:00 in the morning the day before about canceling, freaking myself out for all sorts of reasons. Self doubt can really play havoc on your mind!

It was about 2 in the afternoon, when it took a little more time to climb those 12 rungs, and I didn’t

img_1830

have as much get up and go when I realized, this was coming together!

Here is a situation that I was second guessing myself.  I am self taught, and usually go on gut.  I thought about sketching the entire drawing out on the wall in pencil to begin with, but when I got on the ladder to start.  It just came to me.  I saw the picture in my head, and knew how to get it done.  Done to the point, the owner of NICAB – Tony Begley – asked what I would put on one of the last blank walls in his establishment.  Looking at it – I had the idea for 2 large checkered flags.

He wanted me to come back the next day to finish up, since the opening was a week away.  Am I glad I told him I’d let him know if the next day would work, or a day next week would be better.

Because, there was no way I could even walk, let alone climb that ladder again.  I was well done.  I had no idea the effects of going up and down a 12 foot ladder for 8 hours would have on my body.

This gave me new meaning of  step aerobics, to the pathetic point that I hobbled around all Saturday realizing that I was well out of shape!

checked-flags-002Well, yesterday I reached that finish line, I added some final touches to the big American Flag, outlining the NICAB logo in red to make it stand out and putting a bit of shadow work underneath the red stripes.

I then added the checkered flags to bay 2 and was delighted at the outcome.  I think more so because of Tony’s excitement, it will be neat to see the whole place put back together.

Self doubt is destructive and if I would have given into it, I wouldn’t have learned what I can accomplish when I knuckle down, slow down and take my time to feel the vibe.  I would have cheated myself out of something that gave me a really awesome drug free high, a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Taking and listening to Tony’s vision and what he saw in his mind’s eye and turning it into a reality with paint and watching it come to life gave me an incredible sense of accomplishment..

Categories : paintings
Comments (4)
Apr
17

Finding Love Again

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Life partners, lovers, friends, companions – they all have different names through out our lives.  No matter which stage of life we find ourselves in, we all seek companionship of one kind or another.

So, the story goes..

You have lost a spouse from a terrible disease or a tragic accident, someone you relied on each and every day for even the smallest of things.  Someone who captured your heart and made it go pitter patter.  Someone who was the peanut butter to your jelly.

I  imagine you wonder if you would ever be happy again.

Some years later, along comes someone, an old friend, someone reliable, kind and someone you are comfortable with.  It’s like your batteries have been put on a charger and zap… you smile, not just a simple smile, but one of those curling toes and goose bump smiles.

You feel alive again, you feel needed, wanted and loved in a way you questioned if it was possible ever again.

A beautiful story – finding love again.

So, now I wonder, how can family members on either side be angry, hurt or upset.  Kids, Grandkids it’s time to take a back seat.We can not be everything to our parents or grandparents, nor should we look at it as our parents or grandparents replacing someone.

finding_loveWhat is being replaced is emptiness & lonliness, what’s being replaced is a tear of sadness for one of joy.  I could never replace either of my parents, ever, ever, ever, they have been married since 1951 – and have taught me alot about life.

But, I wouldn’t want either of them to be so lonely that you could hear it when they spoke, see it in their eyes when a special holiday rolled around.  Wouldn’t you want them to bloom like spring flowers and thrive in the sunlight of finding love again?

Peace.

Categories : paintings, Thoughts
Comments (4)
Mar
26

Someone makes you smile

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What makes you smile? Have you ever really thought about that? Yeah, of course, rum makes Buck smile, a cold Corona will make me smile, but really, what makes you smile, what gives you a warm & fuzzy?

I shared a story somewhere online ages ago, but couldn’t locate it, and it falls into this category, of what makes me smile.

Leon makes me smile – he is a worker for Lake County Public Works Department in Northern Illinois, all I know about him is that.. his name and his job….. he works in the area where I grew up, where my parents still live and where I pass through on a weekly basis..

Leon is African American in a predominately white area, when he looks up from whatever task he is performing at the time, he has a smile and a wave for passing cars… I always made sure that I would honk my horn when I passed by, and his pearly whites would show through an ear to ear grin.  A calloused hand would always flutter in the air.. until.. one day.. I was side by side with Leon, and he said.. to me..

“I am so sorry, I can no longer wave to you, someone called in and complained that I seemed “to friendly, it scared them, and if you don’t see me around here, it is because they are going to transfer me out of this area.”

I sat in my car as the light turned green..and couldn’t comprehend what Leon just told me.. I told him to please pull over so I could understand this.. that is when I learned his name…

Leon

My husband is a Public Works Employee.. and trust me, I have heard stories.. I would hope someone would give him the pleasantries of a smile and a wave.. so I had a bit of compassion for this situation.  I wrote to the county, and I wrote from my heart, how asinine could that be, they would punish someone for doing his job as a public servant.  Wouldn’t you much rather deal with a happy public servant, than one that’s copping an attitude..

Well.. Leon is still in the neighborhood, and after this, he asked me to pull over.. and explained the story, I carried a copy of the letter I wrote in my car for a few months, and I got to give it to him.  I got a big hug, and a thank you… I saw Leon today, we passed in different directions.. but he made me smile..

His smile and his attitude is infectious, and as I drive through Leon’s territory, I always look forward to seeing his bright yellow truck and hearing a honk.. knowing, this person and I, even though we don’t know one another on a personal level, our lives have crossed and we find a smile.

As the sun sets tonight, think about… what makes you smile!

tropical-sunset087.

Categories : paintings, Thoughts, Tropical
Comments (3)
Jan
11

What can you do with old?

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What can you do with old?

I am not talking issues related to Lipitor, or those old left overs that have grown mold that we may be able to turn into antibiotics, I am talking another persons junk can be your treasure.

Here is a door that I swear must have been used for those little people that lived under the stairs.  I know there was a movie like that, before the one that John Goodman starred in – The Borrowers..but for the life of me, I can’t remember it.

so.. back to the drawing which I just realized the glare on it..stinks! But..so be it ! I did this very 3 Dimensional, using dried grass..and birch bark if you take a look at the birch tree on the right of the screen…the bark was not painted, it is hot glued on..and it’s real.  Thanks Joseph Standing Bear.

The sand on the walkway is actual sand that I collected in the dust pan after my husband decided he needed to tar the cracks in the foundation outside our steps.. and the only way to sop it up was sand….but that sand was tracked in my house and used in the painting.

The dried grass at the very bottom left is real another brain child of mine that has gone mutant.  I planted pampas grass…pa—my ass it should be..it’s every where, and invasive.. I highly recommend against it, unless you have an old door that a fraction of the grass can be used.

This piece was done with two pieces of cardboard that I used as my canvas.  I used cardboard that was used to ship an auto-scrubber.  Yes..you read it right.. an auto scrubber.

The legs that my husband made to support the old door were made from old pieces of base board that would have gone in the garbage or been burned.

So there you have it.. thats what you can do with old!.

Categories : paintings, Recycle
Comments (4)