Monday, September 30, 2013

October Goals

Happy October!  I love the start of a new month and thinking of all the fun things that I want to accomplish and do for the month.  Fall is hands down my favorite season and October is already shaping up to be a busy month.

1. Go to the Pumpkin Patch. Our family tradition is to go run around the pumpkin patch which includes a day filled with hot chocolate, carmel corn, the corn maze, hay rides and of course pumpkins :). My favorite thing about going to the pumpkin patch is getting the pumpkins and carving them... a little cheesy I know but I just love it. I was thinking this year I will try and attempt to make toasted pumpkin seeds even though for some reason I always think the insides of pumpkins are the pumpkin brain. 

2. Figuring out a Halloween costume for Nora. I went a little over the top last year and made her a several and she was only 4 months which consisted of an M&M costume, a hello kitty costume, and an elephant. Now that she is 14 months I am completely stumped. I have no ideas, which is pretty unusual for me because I am usually just bursting with ideas. :( Still got nothing but hopefully something will come soon.

 3. I'm painting for my annual upcoming Christmas Show- the Big 400 and I can't believe it's been happening for 6 years which hopefully I can show you some peaks at what I am working on but it's off to a slow start. I think I am noticing a trend this month. Maybe it's the laziest of summer still hanging in there. Want to see work from previous years Big 300 or Big 200  or Big 100 and details about the show.

4. Screen print since taking the class last week and now I have the itch to screen print. Now I want to put together the supplies so that I can screen print at home but rounding up the supplies is tough and expensive but I think I can do it. I just need to go visit the hardware store and talk with the handy people because I may be creative and artistic but when it comes to hammers and nails... I'm not the most handy. I'm a little intimidated but I think I can do it.

Doing anything fun this October?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Yah for Screen printing!

I have been wanting to for a long time to take a screen printing class, but it always seemed like the screen printing classes were either too expensive or the timing was just off. I am an avid DIYer as you know, and have tried on several occasions to figure it out myself but to my dismay it just never really worked right and my screens came out funny. So why not take a class? and learn what I was doing wrong and get some inside tips because I have watched several youtube videos and they just made it look to easy or had all of their home made gadgets to help them in screen printing and since I was a beginner I needed to really know what to do to just get started. My friends Kira and Roxi were looking to take a screen printing class and I said I would love to take one too.  We ended up taking a class with Nathan over at the The Make House .  We did everything to prepping the screens and burning the screens and then pulling the prints. It was a super fun experience and I can't wait to make more.  I drew a Jackalope and then screen printed it onto a onsie for Nora.

Happy Friday! Doing anything fun for the weekend?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Tiny Bee Project #4- Feathering

I can't believe that I have already been doing A Tiny Bee Project for four weeks and can't tell you how rewarding it has been to do a creative assignment once week.  It's rewarding because I feel sometimes I get so wrapped in other projects and this project can be anything I want it to be.  No limits on creativity.  I think sometimes I worry a lot about my work being good enough and now I am realizing what does being good enough really mean? Good enough to whom? or to what? I think what's refreshing about doing this project is that everything I am making is just me and I am not over thinking anything and focusing more on the making.

This weeks assignment is Feathering and what I immediately thought of was "Birds of a Feather Flock Together. Where do birds flock? The flock on a wire and on a telephone pole.  Since it's fall I know birds are getting together to fly south for the winter but they seem to always congregate over on the phone poles near my house and even though lots of people do art with birds on wire.  Its seems like sometimes I stop myself in making something when I see someone else has already done it- but sometimes I wonder why should I worry about it?  Can't I just draw something or make whatever I want? Does it always have to be an original concept? Then I could get really philosophical and ask is there ever a really original idea?

Next weeks assignment is "North". :) How ever you want to interpret it.

Feel free to check out and link up with 12 Oz Bee House

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Painting Your Own Picket Fence

I was talking with a friend of mine and she was telling me that she was thinking about showing her art work.  and I said "You totally should!"  She responds with that her parents wouldn't like it and she comes from a pretty conservative background and the only thing that kept going through my mind was- "What is she waiting for?" She has all the important stuff figured out- has 2 beautiful girls, a home, a job ect.. What is she waiting for?  I get it, something that I have struggled with for a long time is that I am in charge of my own life. When I wanted to quit my job and pursue art- I knew my parents wouldn't be for my decision.  I remember sitting down with my dad and having a talk with me and to this day he asks me if I will ever go back to the financial world- at the time I was doing Mortgage Underwriting and Processing. I know super fun. :) I think what was one of the biggest and toughest hurdles in my life was deciding I wanted something else for my life and that I didn't necessarily want that traditional white picket fence.  I didn't want to be trapped in a job that I was good at but I wasn't happy with and that I wasn't go anywhere.  I kept thinking to myself with all of my years of going to high school then college and then this is what I'm supposed to do for the next 30 years?  Why couldn't I make my own picket fence?    I love my parents but it was hard for me to realize that they might never get my life decisions.  I think it stems from that wanting approval from your parents- but I think sometimes you can't look at things like your in them but outside in... You know that bigger picture and thinking about your own happiness.  I was working sometimes 60 hour work weeks and I remember that over time was required.  My job would say things like you should be grateful you have a job because look at the economy.  Even though I hated my job, my parents were proud of me.  On top of working those really long work weeks- I was painting as much as I could at night and I was using my vacation time to just make art.

I understand my parents want me to have this safe life- where I have a nice house.. a nice family.. a retirement plan.  I totally get it.  Having my own daughter now- I want her to be safe and have the best life she can possibly have.  Not the best life I want for her but her best life she chooses.  Even though my parents wanted me to have this traditional life, they raised me being an independent thinker and that is something I want for my own daughter.  I also want to raise her with taking a chance with life and that anything is possible.        

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

DIY: A Coloring Book

It happened! We went out for dinner the other night and Nora was given crayons and a menu to color on and instead of eating the crayons or dipping the crayons in my water.  She decided to color.  I was so incredibly excited that she was coloring that I wanted to save her first master piece but after she was done coloring she dumped her water on it.. I think she might be headed for a career as maybe a mixed media artist or maybe performance art. :)

So I decided to buy her very first crayons and make her a blank coloring book.  This is a really easy coloring book that hopefully it won't end up in the toilet like so many of her stuffed animals, but I love the idea of making her a coloring book that she can keep for a long time.
Blank Paper
A fun piece of scrap booking paper- I used the lovely floral design.
All you do is cut the scrap booking paper to the same size as the white paper.  Fold the paper in half and staple the center.  Use the Sharpie if you want to add something - I drew an E for Eleanor which is Nora's full name. :) That's it! So simple to make an easy coloring book.  I did end up giving her the coloring book and crayons and she was back to eating the crayons but I think soon she will be filling the coloring book up.

Happy Tuesday :)

Monday, September 23, 2013


Here are more paintings for the upcoming show 88 Strong and I have to say one of my latest painting addictions is painting portraits.  One of the theme for the show is Busted- and Busted is a newspaper (and it's online too!) of mugshots.  Since mugshots are public record, they are available for anyone to view.  I have never been arrested- the closest I have ever come to a run in with the cops is getting a speeding ticket when I was 21. I know I lead a pretty wild and crazy life!  I think what I find the most interesting is this little moment in time that someone who gotten caught for something- guilty or innocent.. a moment you are caught and are in trouble.  Looking through the photos I mostly saw guilty faces, the occasional smirk and some in a haze.   I picked busted pictures from Portland which makes me wonder if I will ever see these in real life faces.  I am particularly drawn to painting these faces since I am not much of a trouble maker.. maybe at times a naughty influence but not much of getting into any real trouble.

Happy Monday! 

About the Show:
Location: The Goodfoot
     2845 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR
Dates: Opening is Sept 26th and runs until October 22nd.
Details: 88 artists that make 8 works and can choose from any of the 88 themes.  Every 8X8 painting is $50 and comes framed.  The show is a cash and carry show which means you pay and walk out with the painting that same night. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Tiny Bee: Achieve

I am an extremely goal oriented person and I always feel like I am always trying to achieve those goals. I think something I am looking towards achieving is focusing even more on my drawing and composition before I start to paint.  I think sometimes I just rush into the painting process because I love it so much and skip all of the prepping to painting.  I have been thinking about giving myself a drawing challenge because then I know it's something that I will have to stick with and if I make it a goal it's something that I would like to achieve.  Here is one of my little drawing from my sketchbook of Mr. Fox.

Next week's assignment is "Feathery."  How ever you want to interpret it :) 

Feel free to check out and link up with 12 Oz Bee House

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Adventures in Macarons

One of my favorite desserts of all time is French macarons and just thinking about them makes me one.. immediately.  I don't know what it is about them but with their cookie like crust with their chewy inside but French macaroons are my all time favorite sweet treat.

I saw a recipe online and I thought to myself - "How could something so amazing be made with so few ingredients. They can't be so hard to make can they?"  To make them depending on the recipe their are only 5 or 6 ingredients and there are a ton of different ways to make them.  I tried making them about a half a dozen times before they came out perfectly.  The secret to creating a French macaroon is getting what they call the feet on the cookie which is the little bubbles on the crust.

I tried a couple of different recipes but this is the one that worked for me- and what I liked about this recipe is that the egg whites you used for the cookies and there is a recipe for egg yolks for the filling.  I think if I had to give anyone advice trying to make macaroons I have three tips.

1,  Do not over whisk your egg whites.  One of the main components in making macaroons is making the meringue.  To be honest I didn't even know what a meringue was or how to even make one.  Basically when you are whisking the eggs while adding the sugar- the eggs turn frothy and then turn shiny creating a a peak.  My big mistake was over whisking the eggs going past the point of when they become just stiff enough to form a peak. If you over whisk the eggs- the eggs go flat and you don't get the fancy feet.  The biggest tip is to take your time and slowly increase the speed of the beater to get the eggs just right.

2.  The next part is mixing the ingredients.  You have to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients while being careful not to flatten the meringue. Hard right? and you have to be careful not to over or under mix because you can create cracking in the shell.  The trick with the batter is to fold about 30 times but starting to check for the perfect consistency.  The perfect consistency is a lava like texture that when it drips.. drips like ribbons.

3.  The last tip is after your macaroons are piped on the cookie sheet.  You bang the tray on the counter causing the air to rise out of the cookie and then give them about a 30 minutes rest on the counter before going into the oven.

So if you ever try to make these fickle but extremely delicious cookies, I hope these tips help. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

88 Strong

I have been feverishly working in my studio getting ready for this upcoming show! I can't believe that this is the third year that I am participating in this show.  I think the best part about the show is there are so many themes (88) and I can paint in any of those themes.  The show is hung by theme which is pretty neat seeing all the different art in each category because it's a lot of art and super fun themes.

This is a painting of the Hollywood Theatre which is a pretty famous and old spot in Portland.  The theatre was built in 1926 and it used to show silent movies - it has since had a few face lifts since and supports independent movies.  I think one of my favorite things about the old theatre is that it still has all of the intricate architectural details- and sort of reminds me of the La Sagrada Familia in Spain.   I would love to do a big painting of this one day but I love how this turned out.

About the Show:
Location: The Goodfoot
     2845 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR
Dates: Opening is Sept 26th and runs until October 22nd.
Details: 88 artists that make 8 works and can choose from any of the 88 themes.  Every 8X8 painting is $50 and comes framed.  The show is a cash and carry show which means you pay and walk out with the painting that same night. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! For some reason I think of Friday the 13th as officially fall and that we are super close to Halloween- which means I have to start planning for Halloween! I'm not sure how much one does plan for 1 year olds Halloween but last year when I was daughter was 4 months I made 3 costumes.

This weekend it's my birthday! Happy Birthday to me! It's on Sunday and we are planning on going to one of my favorite spots for brunch and going to the monthly flea market. The one thing about thrifting in Portland is that the thrift stores and flea markets are expensive.  Portland loves vintage and it is completely reflected in the price tag.  I have gotten creative in finding awesome vintage treasures by going to estate and garage sales but there is something easy about going to a flea market.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Tiny Bee: Summer's End

This week's assignment was Summer's End and to me Summer's End is always Labor Day weekend.  Labor Day weekend always marks the end of summer because school starts and no more summer ending.  I start thinking about the leaves changing and falling and getting crunchy beneath my feet.. oh and most important pumpkin spiced lattes and wearing scarves!.  At the end of summer, we usually head out to the coast and celebrate the last hurrah of gorgeous summer weather.. even though this year has been really hot even after Labor Day. We did a lot of road trips this summer and went to the coast a lot.  I think what I am going to remember most about this summer is my daughter turning one and our family road trips.  I did a painting sketch of my daughter looking out at the ocean and she was very excited to walk on the sand.  She gets so excited to wear shoes and clops around like a little horse trotting around.  I just want to remember all the beautiful... silly and exciting memories of my daughter for this summer and that's my summer's end.

Next week's assignment is "Achieve."  Just thinking about achieve is could be interpreted lots of different ways like it could be something goal related or maybe something you are so incredibly proud of and it was a great achievement for you. If you would like to link share please link up below.

Feel free to check out and link up with 12 Oz Bee House

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Be Yourself, Together with Target Wedding

We are in middle of wedding season and Do you know what I love most about weddings? I love the getting dressed up and my most favorite the cake.  I think one of the hardest things about weddings is figuring out a gift.  I always look at the gift registry and think should I give them the fancy vase or maybe the napkin holders.  Target now has a wedding registry that has so many great gifts that go beyond the traditional gift giving.  It sounds silly but I could actually give them a fun gift that they could actually use.  Sounds crazy doesn't it?

Target asked me to interpret there wedding theme "Be Yourself, Together"with two unique gifts that represent the two love birds that are getting married. A his and hers gift that they would both enjoy.  Target is the perfect place to find the perfect wedding gift and do you know what the best part is? it was easy picking out something special that represented both people's personalities getting married.

I have a wedding I happen to be going to this weekend.  I picked this Kitchen Aid Mixer because she loves to bake or I should say tries to bake. I know with the help of this mixer it will take her baking to new heights:) and since he is a bit of a geek I got him a Darth Vader collectors figurine and I think will add to his figurine collection nicely.  These two gifts seem a little odd for a wedding but I think together embodies the couple perfectly.

This post is brought to you by Target, but all the opinions and content are my own.  Want to see more? Follow along with #TargetWedding on twitter and instagram.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Erika's Birthday Wishlist :)

Anthro Coffee and Tea holders


So my birthday is this month which technically I means I celebrate the whole month! woohoo!  I have to admit I am a quiet birthday party girl, which most people don't expect with me since I love  a good party but when all the attention is for me- I get a little shy.  Tim asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said I would like to get my hair done and my toes done.. and have a family date which includes the monthly flea market and brunch... and oh yeah and he can also throw in a surprise gift. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

August in Instagram

August was a crazy fun month and full of making memories with my little family.  We ate a lot and went on lots of little road trips to the coast.  See that bear?  We were in the kitchen of the beach house and a mama bear and cub came and sniffed the bird feeders.  The mama bear smacked them down and they gobbled up all the bird seeds.  I have never seen a "wild" bear that close before except maybe the zoo but it was a little scary.  Tim did ask me if bears know how to open doors- which made me laugh because I don't think they know how to open doors.. I mean maybe a circus bear could but not a wild one. ok maybe now I sound a little crazy.  The bears went away when we knocked on the window but still scary! whew!

September always seems like a short month because of labor day and my birthday is this month. and I know I look forward to all the wonderful birthday wishes and my husband trying to surprise me with a gift that I always find before my birthday :) I can't help it if he hides things horribly! but my husband asks me what I want for my birthday and I always just say I just want a date with my family and maybe watch a movie together.  I guess I am just a simple girl when it comes down to it.

Have a wonderful weekend! Doing anything fun?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Tiny Bee: Home

This weeks assignment was Home.  Home.. such a small four letter word yet a home says a lot about a person.  I also think the meaning of Home has changed for me over the years.  When I think of home now I think about my darling daughter, my husband, 2 pugs, and my studio.  Even though a home is a structure it seems like so much more and the amount of memories that happens in a home- is quite an amazing thing.  When I was a kid I would draw my home a lot! and it would be the same typical house a triangle roof with a square box for the house a couple of windows and a door.  I would sometimes put a rainbow over the top or maybe some fluffy clouds.  I always included my big fat gray cat Bimbo sitting in front of the house and sometimes have a pirate in the front yard.  It's actually quite astonishing how much I remember of those drawings and I was obsessed.  I'm not sure when I stopped drawing home but I thought I should draw home today or at least if I were to think about home what it would be. A little parisian shop house in the woods with electricity :)

Next Thursday's theme is Summers End. Since summer is ending why not share your favorite thing about it or summer memory.  I know I had a crazy summer and I love thinking back on all the wonderful things about summer like road trips to the coast.. Nora's first birthday.. Nora taking her first steps.. I'm looking forward to fall but I am going to miss summer.

If you would like to link share please link up below.  Feel free to check out and link up with  12 Oz Bee House