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Archive for Tropical


Recapturing the Past

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I hear the water isn’t from the ocean, it’s from filling the hot tub! ūüėČ

Typical Chicago March, gloomy, grey and brown, just down right “gnarly”

….but within each and everyone of us lives some sunshine, a beach and a cold beer!

Where do you find your sunshine?

Is it when you spend time curled on the couch reading a book?

Is it when you finish a task that has been sitting on your desk?

Is it when you spend time with your family and/or friends?

This is one “gnarly” window, but it certainly has character and it was brought to life and adorns some sunshine now.¬†¬† Recycled art, creating something from something that was discarded and forgotten.

One thing that brings sunshine to my mind is thinking of whose been where I have before me.. who touched something I am touching.. i.e. being in Louisiana, some 2o odd years ago, and walking through the old southern mansions..looking at the Mississippi River from atop a high balcony…wondering who stood there before, wondering what they were thinking.. making up in your mind a day dream.

Painting with these old windows also gives me that feeling, what..where and how many people touched this.. and now in my hands it’s been long forgotten by them……now this old window has a new home, but it will always hold those silent memories..

Categories : Tropical
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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…


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!


Categories : paintings, Thoughts, Tropical
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Couldn't Stand The Weather

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My husband called the other morning and wanted me to put out a missing person’s report on one of his appendages, he stood in the brutal wind helping the commuters at the local train station with the fare boxes.

It was -7 that is “NEGATIVE SEVEN” degree’s here in the windy city and it’s outlying suburbs. What the heck am I doing here? What the heck is this weather good for I ask myself? I think of those penguin’s from March of the Penguins, and I wonder to myself, WTH good is it when you can’t even enjoy the outdoors, whose cruel joke is this?

As we head into Christmas the snow is flying and I long to sit in that blue hammock up there, our’s will be spoiled by the snow, and sadly he will most likely miss most of Christmas – so those of you that may be in the snow covered cold area’s, remember your workers out there that make those streets passable.¬† Give them a hot cup of coffee, a wave and a smile, or give them a winning lottery ticket so we can get the hell out of dodge!

A Stevie favorite – Couldn’t Stand the Weather and pretty tough to play from what the “boy’s” tell me.

All these years you and I’ve spent together,
all this, we just couldn’t stand the weather…..

Cheers to my husband for being out of these day’s sweetheart, Christmas will be in the tropics..

Peace & Merry Christmas.

Categories : paintings, Tropical
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Tropical Moon Light Beach PaintingIn no means is this post supposed to offend anyone – just a little story of a heterosexual male that had an eye opening experience while people watching.

This is a painting I did over the weekend of my memory of the wee morning hours in Puerta Vallarta, of which I would wake sleepy eyed, and see my husband standing on the balcony reminding me of some great Hendrix Lyrics

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Bare-foot servants to, but huh
Outside in the cold distance
A wild cat did growl
Two riders were approachin
And the wind began to howl

Someone sure was howlin’…. My spousal unit fessed up to his eye opening experience later that morning – watching a couple about 8 hotels down, wandering the beach and enjoying some frisky behavior as they walked holding hands and smooching from time to time. Getting a bit more frisky as they approached and lying in the sand in the moonlight, they shared a moment of passion.

As they strolled closer to the hotel, my husband realized it was not a man and woman as he thought in his mind.  Do our eyes see what our mind wants them to see? Are somethings better left unsaid?

I really believe that it is better to leave somethings to the imagination!.

Categories : paintings, Tropical
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Bringing the tropics to the midwest

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Tropical Painting

From my point of view there is nothing better than a peaceful day at the beach, unfortunately living in the Chicago suburbs those are few and far between.¬†¬† I always told my mom, that something¬†is amiss, I was truly to be born in a warm climate, and it wouldn’t have hurt if I was born into a very wealthy family so I could have just been a beach bum and sat on the shores and painted.¬†

Well, that’s not the case, so with my painting, I bring those beaches to the midwest.¬†

This is a window mural that I painted for my god daughter Nicole, who over this weekend, will be celebrating her 28th Birthday!

Happy Birthday Nicole!

Currently Nicole is heading up the Dance Team for the Peoria Pirates! With a passion for dance, never giving up on her dreams.¬† Moving to Peoria and giving up her dancing with the Chicago Luvabulls was a tough move on her.¬† It’s awesome to see that she has delved into her desires and dreams and found a destiny.¬† (sdk-2008)

I especially like this set of paintings because of the greens and the blues that were used to create the waters of the Caribbean.  Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic РTropic Bay Blue and Caribbean Blue, blending them together to form the crystal waters of the Caribbean.  The canvas of these paintings is actually cardboard, using the cardboard as a painting surface can be tricky, if you over saturate it, you can see the ridges.  These windows came out of an old school house off Lake Cook Road in Barrington, Illinois. 

These are part of my recycled collection, a little less rubbish in the landfill..

Categories : Tropical
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Going down to the beach!

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Going to down to the beachDo you remember growing up and having Saturday Chores, when all you wanted to do was watch cartoons?

I do, but it was my sister who got to do the chores, I got to watch her and cartoons! (me-sticking my tongue out)

Well, now that I have grown up and have a home of my own, those chores need to be done regardless of what cartoons are on.

I set out one Saturday morning to clean the stairwell that leads to our basement. It gets alot of traffic, this is known as “The Bat Cave” and my batty husband spends the majority of his winter down there. Well, needless to say, with the nitty gritty dirty salty dusty residue that collects on the shelves and the walls. I had pulled all the junk out of there, and was all set to clean it.

I realized, I didn’t want to clean it, it needed something else. So, out came the paints and five hours later, we had Buck’s Beach. This was done in all Acrylic Craft Paints, I put some real sand in the paint to give it a bit of texture, as if you are looking out at a beach. Done on the 3 walls that encase the stairway, it gives a brighter look to the “Bat Cave”

So, when you are not up to cleaning.. I say paint it!

I also ran across a new RSS Feed Site today, you may all want to check it out!

~ Soul to Soul.

Categories : paintings, Tropical
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Recycled Light Switch Covers

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Hand Painted Light Switch PlatesLights Out!

But not for these bad boys that I had found in the summer months during junk days!

These are light switch covers that I found in a box, there had to be over 50 of these switch plate covers at the curb waiting for the garbage truck.   Waiting to end up in the land fills.

Metal, Ceramic and Plastic switch covers, from one slot to four.  I took the ceramic one and had my husband sand it down, and I put a base coat of flat white spray paint on it, and I added the tropical sunset to give it some flare, using enamel craft paint by Anita,

I¬†mixed solid black with an amber red to get the dark water’s.¬† The three slotted light switch has silica sand embedded in it, and gives a bit of a glow in the evening so that you can actually see where the switch plate is at.¬† With beads of real sand and a bit of texture, it is a beauty in any sun room.¬† Using several tones of blue for the water, and combining white gives the depth as the beach scene meets the horizon.

I shot them with a glossy lacquer to give them more protection from wear and tear in rooms that are have more frequent traffic. 

I love finding items that have been disgarded that I can bring back to life by giving them a unique look and turning them into works of art.  There are many different forms of recycling, and if you are unsure if there is a recycling collection center around, check out Earth 911..

Categories : paintings, Recycle, Tropical
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Biker in Paradise

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Biker in ParadiseI can only say..FREEZING here in the suburbs of Chicago.. this piece was out of the archives.  It now resides somewhere in Canada, where it can be quite possibly colder than Chicago.  Not a pretty thought.

This is a window that came out of an old barn in Elgin, Illinois. (Thanks Aaron) I wanted to portray “freedom” and as I was told by the gentleman who purchased it, thats just what it said.¬† It reminded him of his weekend¬† ride down in Florida.¬†¬† This is one window that I did not leave in tattered state, it was cleaned up and painted with outdoor oil paint, semi-gloss white.¬† The mullions were in terrific shape! I used a recycled piece of cardboard for the canvas, and painted the ocean, streets and palms.¬† The canvas was painted with acrylics by Anita, and I painted the front of the glass in enamels, giving it a more of a 3D effect.¬† I used silica sand to mimic the waves crashing on shore.¬†

When I look at my pieces that are tropical themed, they immediately take me somewhere warm, which by the way is not the suburbs of Chicago, where there is now in my opinion way to much snow on the ground!.

Categories : paintings, Tropical
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Gifts and gift giving do not end after the holidays; we find we need to be shopping even after the New Year celebration done and gone. But gifts, even if little, if they are filled with tenderness and affection can mean the world. That’s why it’s particularly important to choose a gift carefully and with sense.

Because it’s very pleasant as for you so for the person, you present a gift to, if this gift suits and is usable or even brings back a pleasant memory. With custom pencil sketches of loved one‚Äôs, family pets, or a pencil sketch from a photo during your vacation, you can create a wonderful memory all of your ownTropical Beach Bag for Books and Lotions.¬†

If you want to satisfy the person’s wishes and needs, think globally. Health is something, that no one can buy, but everyone can take care of. So why not help a person to stay fit and profit from your gift? If you are looking outside the box why not a beach cruiser? This might be one of the best choices for a gift.

A beach bike is just the perfect way to stay fit and enjoy keeping it. You can exercise (which means simply ride a bike) almost everywhere and at any time, comfortable for you. With a beach cruiser as a gift, you express your care to the person; you show your concern about his health. Be sure, that your sensible choice will satisfy everyone solicitous to his well-being.

You will be the envy of all the beach combers while sporting one of my custom beach bags.

Do you realize there are now only, three hundred and fifty some days until the Christmas Holiday of 2008. The most effective holiday employee gifts contain an emotional message to your business partners. This emotional value is usually behind the low price, but generates powerful positive emotions and has a lot of impact.

With all different types of corporate gifts, you can take advantage of high emotional value in yearly gift giving, to enhance employee relationships and goodwill. Corporate gifts are incentive gifts with high emotional value. And this value attracts more consumers to your business, creates a positive working atmosphere within your company, and gives back to you much more, than you’ve given away.

Sensible gifts must be smart from all sides. Disposable paper gift wrap, or reusable bags can also create a very good impression. Reusable gift bags save natural resources and money too. You can also opt for a personal one of a kind travel or book bag that is like no other.

Tropical Painting Palms Gift Bag - Re-usable

My custom paintings and sketches can be transferred to a variety of objects and materials. I have re-used many paper products and shopping bags in my custom pieces, just think of the amount of paper products that end up in our landfills. This is really a smart stuff, taking into a count an enormous waste, generated by gift wrap, gift bags and cardboard boxes, from production to consumption and disposal (each year a staggering $5 billion worth of gift wrap is tossed in the trash).

So be smart and impress a person, you present a gift to, with your strong-minded choice, made for him. Because the sense of any gift is to say, that you care about the person, think of him, his likes and wishes and of his attitude and feelings to you.


Categories : Gifts, Tropical
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Stratocaster Style Guitar Clock - Moonlight TropicsThis is a stratocaster style hand cut solid mahogany body guitar clock.  My husband created this on a band saw and hand sanded and rounded the edges. 

I used acrylic paint on this, and the deep blues were alot of fun to work with.  I used about seven different shades of blue Рwith a larger paint brush to give the waves a  bit more clarity.  Finished in with a high gloss laquer.

Embedded in the beach is real sand from the shores of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.¬†¬† I used Fender guitar picks for the 3,6,9 and 12, thought that added a bit more guitar”ism” to the piece.

The clock actually has a small¬†glow in the dark effect,¬†as I used¬†silica sand¬†that is used on streets for the¬†reflective¬†effect¬†for the surf hitting the beach.¬†¬†I stupidly took this project fresh after the paint to an outdoor¬†craft fair, and¬†I will tell you – that’s a no – no.¬† Some of the laquer bubbled in the midday sun and¬†I needed to re-do it.¬† Word¬†to the wise, keep these things covered!!.

Categories : paintings, Tropical
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