Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Favorites

First, thanks again to everyone who participated in my little giveaway here last week.   I messed up the first drawing because I didn't count all the entries correctly, so we had two drawings.  I haven't heard from one of the winners.  So, Janelle, holla back! :)

For this week's Friday favorite, I have another cute face to show you:

I've mentioned before on the blog about the creative business class I took with Kelly Rae Roberts, artist, author, on-line instructor extraordinaire.  Well, in that class, I have met many other talented artists.   There's a crazy energy in this group that I have truly never experienced, an energy that it seems is propelling everyone forward at a much faster pace than could have been achieved alone.  It's kind of freaking me out, really. 

They are from across the US, Austrailia, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Germany, Sweden and more! They are moms and grandmothers and sisters and wives and soul sisters.  They make wall art, assemblages, jewelry of all kinds, mosaics and other glass art.  They make quilts, other fabric art and beautiful photographs.  They write poetry and business plans and great blogs.  The combined talent in this group is really amazing.  I feel like I might have been promoted to the next class a little too soon, and I should probably be in the remedial section. 

We have a team on Etsy called Flying Lessons Alumni 2011 .  To give you an idea of the kind of talent and diversity that is found in this group, I made this Friday Favorites Flying Lessons Treasury of my favorite things from some of their shops.  I wish there were enough spaces to include something from every shop. 

Some of my classmates are not on Etsy, yet.  The little birdie face I showed you above is from a flyer that doesn't have an Etsy shop at the moment.  But, she's doing a fabulous thing!  There was a huge flood last month in New York state where she lives.  Kanchan Mahon is selling all her artwork from her website and donating ALL the proceeds to flood recovery efforts in her area.  You can check out her website  Her prices are very reasonable for works of art and it benefits people who have suffered great loss!

At the risk of making you really jealous because this one is no longer available, here's the whole birdie:

Here's the bottom line on art.  You can go to Target and buy some clearance art that was made in China or you can go to Etsy, other art sites, local art fairs or craft shows and buy directly from an artist--someone just like me and just like you. Someone who has a dream and is working with their hearts and their hands to give that dream wings.  When I took my Target art down and replaced it with Kanchan's bird, it changed the whole feel of the room.  Try it!  You'll like it!

Happy Friday, everyone!  May the good Lord bless your weekend with sweet dreams and daily reminders of His loving kindness.

<3 Lori

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Random Thoughts Wednesday

Good morning, travelers.  Welcome to Random Thoughts.  Please wait until the bus has come to a full and complete stop before leaving your seats. 

Today's Random Thoughts gathered themselves into a little Facebook group:

1.  I think I might spend too much time on Facebook.  I find myself looking for the "Like" button in coworker emails.  When I realize where I am and that I'll have to click "reply" and write "Ha" and click "send", I'm really disappointed.

2.  I'm also hitting enter in my email replies like that will do something besides carriage return line feed.  Every response I write has a couple extra lines at the bottom before I figure out that's not going to send them.

3.  I just went to Pinterest again to look for pictures. Someone posted some crazy-good looking cheesecake cookies and then asked, "What are graham crackers?"  Apparently there are no graham crackers in Australia.  What????!!!!  I mean, I can't feel all that sorry for them because they have kangeroos and koalas s'mores?  That's just sad.

Have a blessed day, friends!  I'm praying the Lord blesses us today with good friends, a few laughs, and sunshine (that doesn't try to bake us to a crisp) on our faces.

<3 Lori

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh Clever!! Where are you, Clever??

Today is Monday.  For Monday blogs, I'm supposed to have some clever way to present the work I did over the weekend.  I seriously have been sitting here until I'm about to pass out and my lap is about to burst into flames.  Still no cleverness in sight.

I'll just show you what I have in the works, and then I'll go look for my long lost clever.

If any of these turn out to be presentable, I show you some afters later. :)

Now it's off to dreamland for me!

May the good Lord bless you today with ample cleverness and friends to share it with.   And if your cleverness is missing in action, may those friends be willing to stick around until it returns.

<3 Lori

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Favorites

Helloooooo, Friday! 

Last week on Friday Favorites, I highlighted my absolute favorite rock star blogger, creative-soul business woman.  This week I'm highlighting my absolute favorite rock star creative-soul adoptive mom. 

First lemme show you something that will help you understand why this hit number 2 on my Friday Favorites....Actually, if I'd thought of it sooner, this would have beaten Pioneer Woman's pretty hair, funny blog, and awesome girlie stand mixer by about 7713 miles (as the crow flies).

(prepare to swoon)

This little beauty is Mia.  She was adopted in Taiwan by my friends Jason and Kate. They live in Missouri with Mia, her brother Mason and sister Madison.  They love each other a lot.  Adoption rocks!  This picture cracks me up:

I followed closely the adoption story as it unfolded--document signing, approvals, home studies, more approvals, passports, checking in for flights, arrivals.  It felt like I was right there with them.  When Kate posted the pictures from the trip, I clicked through them, anticipation pushing me forward, waiting for the moment.  This moment:  

Still makes me weepy. ::sap::

Since they hit the adoption jackpot the first time around, they, understandably, want to do it again.  Kate has a lovely little boutique at Esty called The Adopt Shoppe where all the proceeds from her sales go towards their next adoption.  She makes cute tile necklaces, braided fabric bracelets, leather bracelets, necklaces created from paper beads rolled by women in Uganda...all kinds of great stuff.  You should go there and look around.  You'll find something you love!   I bought this, which I love, love, LOVE:

~~Here's the best part~~


Happy Giveaway!!

You can be entered in one of two ways:

1.  You can leave a comment here on the blog (just make sure to click "follow" so that you can remember to check back later to see who won).  If you enter your comment as "anonymous", leave your name in the comment, so we'll know that you were the anonymous winner. :)  If you don't know which profile to choose, you can always use the Name/URL option.  If you don't have a website, just leave the URL part blank.


2. You can comment on the post with the blog link on my Facebook page LeissnerArt

Only one comment please.  


 You can get an extra entry if you share the Facebook post about this blog or otherwise plug the blog on your own Facebook page or on Twitter.  Just include how and where you shared in your comment, and you'll get an extra entry.  I'll draw using a random sampler on Sunday evening and post here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Make sure you enter.  Mia wants you to win!

May the good Lord bless you today with sweet love stories and happy endings!

<3 Lori

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Random Thoughts Wednesday

1.  I live out in the country.  It's probably still weird that I find myself thinking sometimes, "That would be a really good place to dump a body."

2.  Bob Hope's wife died.  I heard it on the news.  She was 102 or something.  It occured to me that when you live to be that old, people's first thought is often not, "Oh, that's too bad", it's "Dang! She was still alive?!" 

3.  Have you noticed how many of my random thoughts are about death?  What's up with that?

4.  Today's weird results from a Pinterest search--I searched for "what?"

And my personal favorite

Thanks for coming along on this little crazy trip or maybe "trip to crazy" would be more accurate. 

May the good Lord bless you today with clear vision to see the blessings you already have.

<3 Lori

Monday, September 19, 2011

Getting Sketchy

Happy Monday (it is barely still Monday)!

When I decided I wanted to give art a go, I looked around a little for some classes.  I emailed someone who was giving art classes at Hobby Lobby.  She sent me a questionnaire to fill out.  She wanted to know my philosophy of art.  Um....huh?  Maybe you are supposed to have one of those.  I don't.  I like pretty things to hang on the wall or to put on a shelf when I run out of room on the walls.  And I don't really like to try to figure out what something means.  I like art that tells me what to think.  Hence my tag line:  "Art that Speaks".  If I'd ever had an art class, I might like art that keeps its trap shut. 

This is where it gets sketchy.  Having never had an art class, I mess up a lot.  And I potentially have to plan things out more than someone who's taken classes.  Or maybe not.  If I'd ever had an art class, I might know that for sure.  Anyway, I thought it might be fun to compare some of my sketches with the finished products.  Or it might not.  I've never done this before either, so we'll see.  Here goes:

This is a sketch for a collage I did and sold on Ebay to benefit Ozarks Food Harvest after the Joplin tornado (they could still use some help, by the way.  That was a devastating event.)

Here's the finished version:

This is the sketch I did for my mom's Mother Day present this year.  I was in a big off-site meeting for my real job.  I'm a good multi-tasker:

And after

And this little idea...

Became this.....

Next up:

I've never painted a face before (that I would be willing to show in public).  She's on my easel.  Maybe I'll show you next week.  Or maybe not.

Thanks for stopping by.  I'll try to make sure that next week's Monday Musings are not so close to Tuesday.  May the Lord bless you with sharp pencils in pretty colors.

<3 Lori

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Favorites

This is probably really silly.  Why would someone with 29 blog followers and 157 Facebook friends feature as a "Friday Favorite" someone who has 319,000 Facebook friends and has garnered 24,000 comments on a blog post? 

Because she's my favorite, that's why.

Ree Drummond is The Pioneer Woman.  She can cook.  She's hilariously funny. She's beautiful, and she's created a creative business empire all while living in some rural section of Oklahoma where going to "the Walmart" is still a big deal.  See?  She's just like me!  We're practically twins.

She's giving away this amazing mixer today here:   

I don't really cook, but I left a comment so I could be entered in the drawing anyway.  I mean, I think I might even be able to make something tasty with a mixer that looks like that.  Or I could just go to the bakery, bring something tasty home to a clean kitchen, and look at the beautiful mixer while I'm enjoying my tasty treat.  An "artist" should own that mixer.

Click this link to her website: The Pioneer Woman.  When she checks her stats, she'll be so impressed by the traffic I directed over there.

May the good Lord bless you today with pretty stand mixers and tasty treats.

<3 Lori

PS.  Just found the website for those mixers....why didn't I think of that??

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Random Thoughts Wednesday

Today is Rural Day at Random Thoughts.  Get the theme song to "Green Acres" in your head, and welcome to the funny farm:

1.  This is not an unusual sight at my house:

Note to self:  Clean the windows

2.  I followed behind a tractor trailer today and was reminded of another time I was following behind a large tractor trailer.  I thought, "My word! That must have been a HUGE cup of water that trucker is pouring out."   When I started to pass it, I realized it was a cattle truck and that was NOT water.

3.  This is Sophie:

She's our watch dog.

We don't have any valuables.

Farm livin' is the life for me.  Land spreadin' out so far and wide. 
Keep Manhattan.  Just give me that countryside. 

May the Lord bless you today with sun on your faces, enough space to roam a little, and sweet doggies (or turkeys ::we are equal opportunity pet owners::) to keep you company.

<3 Lori

Please drop by LeissnerArt and hit the Like button if you haven't already.  The Etsy store will be opening soon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yes, Please!

Something weird(er) has happened to my brain since I started thinking more about and doing more art.  I see things.  I see things in weird places.  I see cows in the pattern of the tile on the floor in the bathroom at work.  I see ladies swimming in the patterns of the tile on the floor in my bathroom.  (I have time to ponder whilst in the bathroom, obviously.  But I should be careful and not drop my planner in the toilet.  Again.)  Other times that I've pondered, I've seen chickens in the wall treatment at the salon while waiting for my hair color to process and owls in the wood grain on the pew in front of ours at church. 

In the past, I have spent a lot of time staring at blank canvases trying to make them disclose what they want to be.  Then, when they sat there mute, I'd glue a few things to them very orderly, as we left brainers are wont to do, hoping that a little embellishment would loosen 'em up.  Still nothing.  Sometimes I pray for something to speak to me.  This should be my first avenue.  Probably would save a lot of time.   Being human gets in the way of a lot of things.

Anyway, I've decided to quit trying so hard and just go with whatever comes to me.  It might be  houndstooth chickens or Hawaiian shirt bedecked owls.  Or a cat with a purple peace loving mouse on its head.  I just really never know.

Peace? Yes, please!

May the good Lord bless you today with peace loving rodents and chatty canvases.

<3 Lori

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Random Thoughts Wednesday

It's that time again, boys and girls--another scary glimpse into my brain.  Get out your magnifying glasses and let's go:

1.  I believe that it's important to write your own obituary.  I'd really like to show you the link that would clearly demonstrate why this occurred to me, but I can't.  That wouldn't be nice.  Just trust me on this.  Write your own.   And, because I'm a helpful sort, here is a link to show you how.

2.  I went to Pinterest to try to find some kind of illustration for #1.  People say, "to die for" for some really crazy stuff.  Are you really willing to die for this:

Or this?

Maybe this...

But definitely not this:
I mean...seriously?  If you are willing to die for those ugly shoes, you should probably get out more....On second thought, you should probably just stay in.

3.  Speaking of should either definitely go there or definitely stay away from there depending on how much time you have to waste and how predisposed you are to obsessive compulsive disorder.  If you go, you should follow me (use that button over there ----->).  But when you look up the next day and wonder where the time went, don't blame me.

4.  Why do I feel compelled to have four things?  

May the Lord bless you today with a long, healthy life, a well-written obituary when the time comes, and pretty things neatly aligned into grids (as they should be) to look at in the meantime.

<3 Lori

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who Do I Think I Am?

I think I mentioned earlier about the two on-line classes I've been taking. Flying Lessons is a creative business class, where I'm learning the ins and outs of art as a business.  Soul Restoration is a to's about evicting the internal mean girl that I think we all have.  Maybe it's just me.  Although, I guess if it were just me, there wouldn't be two on-line classes and an in-person class in the mountains of Idaho that costs $1500.  Yeah, definitely not just me.   Anyway, through these classes, one of the questions that inevitably comes up is, "Who do I think I am?"

The word "artist" sticks in my throat.  In fact, I have to resist the urge to put air quotes around the word "studio" when I say it even though I of those things...upstairs.  Truthfully, I usually just skip it and say "upstairs" instead.  My internal mean girl, who has been given her eviction notice but didn't pick up her certified letter from the post office, is giving me a hard time about this.

I'm not sure what it's going to take to get over it.  I have made art and still make art fairly regularly.  I have an official Facebook page that says "Artist".  I have a blog where I talk about doing art.  I have a domain name and am working on a website.  I have an Etsy store that's waiting on inventory and a certificate to collect sales tax, which I'm getting tomorrow.  I'm almost a legit, legal, signed and sealed creative business, for Pete's sake.  I should be able to call myself an artist without almost choking to death.

So, who do I think I am?  I am a dreamer, a brave girl, and an artist (even if my palms itch to add quotation marks).

WHO do you think YOU are?

P.S.  May the Lord bless you today and may you recognize the blessings and embrace them as your very own!   

<3  Lori