Checking In On Your Best Self

Ever wished you could go back to being your better self? What does that self look like...what does she think and feel and do on the daily?

Does that girl seem far away for some reason?

What got in the way between you and that best you? 

Years?

Disappointments?

Failure? 

Other people?

For me it was my kids moving out ... leaving the nest. That was some rough emotional stuff.

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Here’s what I know. My best self is more confident.

My best self is doing the things she loves again like painting and also laughing. That feels good! 

She is singing (not well mind you, ha).

She’s seeing and enjoying the best parts of the small moments again. 

I worked to get what I needed to get back to her and I chose the fast lane to do it. Turns out it was a lot easier than I thought to bring her back. How about you? If you aren’t her now, what are you doing to find her again? You deserve to find her. ♥️ Yes you! 

When you are operating at your best you (the authentic you with emotions in check) you are helping your family, your children, spouse, friends, coworkers. Many of those people need you and rely on you. They deserve the best you, too. 


The coolest part is what you put out into the world-into relationships...comes back to you...then goes back to those cherished family, friends, coworkers...and it’s a beautiful piece of ♾ infinity. A piece you want to be a part of. We all need you to be a part of! 

Making time for Art

Firstly, hello there! Long time no blog post. It’s been a minute!

I’ve been changing things up here but I wanted to show you some recent sketches. I’m so into these portraits.

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I’ve started doing them in a Blackwing sketchbook which is super convenient and clean… I like that. The sketchbook is 8.5 x 5 which makes it portable and a good size for these sketches.

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I had a rough Summer, and it’s been so good to give myself time to create again. I’ve been craving it for a long long time! So grateful for creative expression. Painting and sketching is therapeutic for me. Is it for you?

This big guy is mostly watercolor on canvas. I haven’t finished it yet but he is fun to see when I walk into my studio!

Teresa McFayden

Doodles on the Wall?

Yesterday I took my doodles to gesso board. I gave myself a limited palette and made the goal to be to have fun.

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Having fun is always always always part of my creative process! I had good tunes playing in the background, oils in the diffuser, and a fab Starbucks refresher nearby, and spread all the things out on my kitchen table. :)

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Dr. Suessish, yes? 

I'm not sure they are finished, or if they are a good fit for hanging with other artwork, so I propped them up on the table to see. 

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If you are a painter, do you like to hang your art work in your home?

Peonies are My Fav

This blog post is best expressed with as few words as possible. Just photos...that's all that's needed. My PEONIES have bloomed! They just make me so happy!!!

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Picked up this bouquet at the Farmer's Market and added a peony to the center. Why not?! 

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Enjoy! :)

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A Peek in My Studio

Who else likes peeking into the creative spaces of others? I raise my hand, high! 

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Studios are a sacred space to me. Yes, it's a working space, but it's also a retreat and it's personal. Maybe that's why they are intriguing. I organized a few areas of my studio this week. Uhh, finally, and I'm pretty sure the angels in all the heavens are grateful I did. Here is most of my watercolor supplies, all in one cabinet.

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You can see the cabinet better in this photo. I also picked up a rolling cart. I filled it with shipping supplies. All in ONE place, imagine the smile on my face! Because it's on wheels, I can roll it over to my desk easily and print labels. 

The bin on the floor is filled with books, and will hopefully keep Lilly the Yorkie dog from chewing on them. Please!? 

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My desk is actually a dining room table. I've had it forever. It's perfect for me because I love to spread all the things out. Painting supplies, video equipment...yup all the things. It's a challenge to keep it clean and cleared off. It rarely is.

I even spiffed up this shelf which I love to look at now. I sketched that portrait a few years ago and it's one of my favs because it has finished parts and unfinished parts. That represents life to me and let's the viewers eye fill in the rest.  

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In the Studio With New Supplies

I've been watercoloring and painting more and more. It feels like I'm reintroducing myself to old friends! My love of watercolor has deepened and I have been gathering more colors that I love to swash across paper. 

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That brush is partly to blame. My friend, Nikkee, suggested Isabey brushes and once I splurged I haven't regretted it for a second. Have you ever tried these brushes? 

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Playing and getting lost in the happy colors. Watercolor has been magical to me for a while. I get lost in the colors!

This is a rework in process. Not watercolors, but acrylics which are so much easier. I was inspired by this pretty bottle. Isn't it irresistible?

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It's so important to keep your art and creativity alive. I never want to lose that gift. Everyone has it you know...winky wink. It's also like a muscle and it needs to be kept in good shape. Use it or lose it! With that, I'm off to the studio to paint. :) 

 


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Put An End to Backwards Live Videos

Hey friends! A tip for you today! Did you know you can flip your live videos? No more confusing your friends with backwards images or text! It's easy to do, bonus points for that. 

Backward Live Video Fix

Backwards text is no longer backwards when you do this: 

  1. Click Facebook Live icon
  2. Click magic wand icon
  3. Click tools icon
  4. Click horizontal flip

This has been helpful for me when I do live videos on Facebook and my audience appreciates seeing text they can actually read. Sometimes it's on my artwork, a product I'm using, or even on a shirt I'm wearing. Ha! 

Need more tips on how to make your live videos a success? My Build a Better Live Video Course is updated with even more helpful content for you! I love to keep things as fresh as possible and recently added even more to this Course. 

Get the details for the Course under Classes in the sidebar or here.

MUST HAVE LIGHTING FOR YOUR WORKSPACE or VIDEOS

Friends, let's have a little chat about the light in your space. I know lightbulbs aren't sexy, but the light they project in your space can be.

One of the first things I did when I remodeled my art studio was celebrate the natural light...of course. YAY! I have my desk right next to a window as a matter of fact. It's the best! 

The second thing I did was to add LED natural light bulbs to all of the light fixtures and lamps. Game changer status!! The lighting in your workspace, if you are painting is critical for getting true colors. It also makes the art or decor in any of your home look prettier. 

If you are doing live videos, you need to get the correct lighting too. A ring light is awesome, but if you can't swing the price yet, at least get natural LED bulbs in your fixtures. Or do those live videos outside, or near a window. Those are photographer tips too. :)

Studying a lot or someone in your home studying a lot? Natural lighting will decrease the eye strain too. 

Head over to Home Depot or Lowe's and look at their extensive light bulb selection. Most of the manufacturers have a display that shows the color of the bulbs. Pick natural...not blueish or yellowish. Here's an example...see...not sexy but they will make everything look better!

 

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Learn more about how to crush your live videos in my newly launched Course. It launched this week and folks are love love loving it!

Hey, let's hang out on Instagram!

Live Video Like a Rockstar

You're ready to click the live button and you get a wee bit nervous or draw a blank and then whaaaaaat?! Let's kick those nerves to the curb. Ready? Yes! 

 

1. Know your subject

You know it better than your audience so take comfort in that!  Nobody is asking you to be THE #1 expert of all things...really they aren't. They want to learn from you. Because you're pretty cool and they like you. 

2. Make a Plan

Sounds easy enough but those extra steps will up your confidence and your viewers will feel it and appreciate it! Make an outline on a post it note and stick it near your viewing area so you'll see it if you get off track. Genius, yes? Yes!

3. Engage with your audience

Part of the fun and excitement of live videos is seeing them in real time...in the moment. Give a shout out to someone you see who is watching. Also, go back and read the comments later and interact with your folks or answer questions. Hey, it is SOCIAL media, right? Doing this helps folks know that you care and they will appreciate it! 

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Want to know more? I did too. So, I created Build a Better Video

A Course for folks who want to grow their audience & crush their live videos.

The Course starts soon! 

Build a Better Live Video

Love Instagram? Me too.

5 Things Not To Do When Going Live on Facebook

Have you been going live on Facebook to connect to share content yet? Because you totally should. It's sooo much fun! Yes, it can be a little scary the first few times...I totally understand I know the feeling. Once you get comfortable with live videos it gets a lot easier. Plus, your friends and your audience loves seeing you and what you are up to!!

5 Things Not To Do When Going Live

So, once you decide to jump into Facebook Live land I've got a few tips that will be super helpful! 

 

Here a couple things NOT to do when you go live: 

1. Wait to start speaking. Once you click that GO LIVE button, start talking. Yup. You'll be so glad you did when you watch the replay. 

2. Start without a smile. It's a proven fact that we humans love to see people smiling. It makes us happier and hey who doesn't want to feel happier?

3. Speak with a monotone voice. Come from a genuine place of excitement and not fear. You can hide your fear for a few minutes, right? Tell fear she can join you but to sit in the back seat for a hot minute, while you try something new. 

4. Hold your camera. Keep your camera (your phone, right?) as still as you can. When you watch the replay you'll be so glad you did. Prop the phone on a stack of books or set it somewhere safely in front of you so you don't have to worry about it while you are live.

5. Go live in the dark or in poor lighting. Of course, natural lighting is always always best. if you are outside in the dark or in a dark room and want to go live, you and everything you show will be really grainy and well....dark and hard to see. Best advice is to turn on lots of lights around you or wait until daylight to go live.

 

Let's Hang Out On Instagram

Still Making Graphic Mistakes?

Lots of folks are asking how I make the graphics they see me sharing on social media.  So, I'm putting on the designer hat for a hot minute. 

Do you want to up your graphics game? Do you ever look at other folk's graphics and think to yourself "Wow, that looks so great, how did she DO that?" 

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First of all, no comparing yourself to others. Nope. Nope. Blowing the whistle on that right here right now. Whoever she is...she is not you! 

If you want to make graphics...like a boss...that get looks and stops and stares...you totally can. Don't have the fancy schmancy software? That's okay. You don't need it. Don't get me wrong, PhotoShop is fantastic and I love it, but guess what? There are several apps you can use on your phone or tablet to do close to the same thing.

If you already use some of those Apps now, great! If you're feeling like you need some help I've got you covered. I've created a Design Flow Cheat Sheet to help you make sure you cover the main steps when making graphics. 

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For LOTS of people, making a graphic isn't something they do on the fly. Maybe it takes time. The good news is, the more you do it the better you get. Isn't that the truth with everything? This Cheat Sheet helps you remember all the steps you need to cover to make that graphic sing. Well, maybe not sing...but I think you know what I mean. 

Did you know if you have a splash of color in your social media content, people are 80% more willing to read it? Or that content with relevant images gets 94% more views? Basically, pictures make for more engaging social posts.

 

Now, if you are a pro, this probably isn't for you. If you need help in this arena...know that everyone has been there. This Cheat Sheet an angel on your shoulder helping you do all the pretty things.

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Ever make a mistake, forget something in graphics making mode...then kick yourself after it's too late and you already hit publish? This will help, friend.

Know what? It's pretty fun, too. Get the Cheat Sheet.


Let's Hang On Instagram


 

 

How I Organized My Life (and Business)

This year has been a busy one. In that busy-ness I have struggled to keep all the things organized! I think this is especially HARD for creative folks, don't you? It literally hurts my brain.

I've tried so many different ways to get organized, too. Planners with oodles of stickers and goo gahs...journal after journal...and i love a good journal...you KNOW I do (and all the pens and markers to go with it). Then there's the piling up phone apps...phone calendars that are mehhhhh. I seemed like all my stuff was a hot mess and literally everywhere. That was no fun and I was always playing catch up and spending time trying to find that "one" thing...where did I put that?

Nothing was as good as what I've started using tho. None of that. 

So what's working?

Cranking up Spotify, sipping a hot latte and Trello.

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I can plan there, I can grow there, structure ideas there, create tasks, lists, look at my week, even my shopping list. It's my new EVERYTHING. If I do it, I add it to Trello. 

I give it 100 extra bonus points for looking clean and beautiful. 

I give it 1000 extra bonus points because I can use it on my laptop AND my phone. It's all in both which makes it ideal for the Target run, the mall run, the birthday shopping...see? All the things!

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You can color code cards and tasks, add photos to it, you can add recipes to it, you can add ALL the things and it's all in one place. You can add others to it too. Mind blown! 

There are lots of add ons which I'm just now getting to know. I'm mega impressed so far tho!

Do you use Trello, too? High five sister friend! 

 


I LOVE TO HANG OUT ON INSTAGRAM


Going With The Flow

Have you tried flow painting yet? You must! It's so much fun! Every canvas is a surprise and it's mesmerizing to watch the paints react with each other. I'm obsessed.

Intro to Flow Painting w/Teresa McFayden

Here is one of my first canvases:

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Look at all the gorgeous cells in this one!

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There are so many recipes and how to's online. You'll have a blast watching...just like I did. I know you will. Try flow painting with your kiddos, too. They'll love the combination of science + art.

I have been happy with this combo:

1 part acrylic paint

1 part Floetrol and Liquitex Pouring Medium

1 Part water

Then I top of the each color with a small squirt of silicone.

AMAZING results! You can see videos of this process on my Instagram and and an 18 minute how to on my Facebook timeline.

Go try it! 


I LOVE TO HANG OUT ON INSTAGRAM

Been painting!

Hey hey peeps! So I've been doing some creating this Summer and gotta share! First, a bit of watercolor. This was done in Sheila Atchley's Course; Let Us Make. So good! This is called The Firmament...it's my fav piece so far in her course. 

The Firmament

This started out as an abstract then I ventured off the patch (shocking). It's a Pinktini.

 

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Last week I was feeling extra creative. It's funny how one little spark (like the above) can fuel you onward to creating in a new direction or new way. So I used two bigger canvases this time because why not? No names for these two yet...

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This has made me want to clean my studio. So I've been trying to redo and rework things when I can. Love that!! 

 

He did it!

Hey friends! Last month was a busy one. I love May but it's always a busy one and full of fun! Our youngest graduated from high school so that made it a whirlwind of fun and excitement! We are so very proud of him! 

If you have read/followed my blog for a while you have pretty much seen him grow up over the years. Well all of our kiddos really but he was really young...maybe 4-5 when I started blogging. So I had to share this special day with you too! 

We had family and lots of his friends celebrate at his grad party.

 

I was so busy that I didn't take a lot of photos to share. I mean I took lots of photos of his peeps and all but those are  for him. 

We were so busy that I feel like I blinked and now it's Summer! Bring it on! I'm looking forward to lots of painting adventures! 

 

 

Let's Do a Catch Up

Hey friend, oh my word where does the time go? I have been so busy I haven't had a chance to pop in here and keep things fresh and interesting. Sigh. It's been quite a rollercoaster around here. In a good way tho!

A few updates:

  1. I started doing yoga. I puffy heart love it. 
  2. My son is graduating from high school in a month. I will be crazy busy until then but I can't wait to share more about that monumental day.
  3. I'm working on an awesome cooking w/essential oils class. Super stoked about that.
  4. I rearranged my studio and love it. I put my big working table near a window. Now even more natural light. Boom! 
  5. Hubby and I are heading out on a fun biz trip I'm doing soon. Yay! That like never happens.
  6. We are working on some backyard spruce up spiff up projects. Spring is here! We like to spend time out there so this should be fun and I hope it all ends up looking like we are planning. :)
  7. Folks are love love loving the Build a Better Graphics Course I launched a few weeks ago. I am thrilled they are thrilled. It's a self paced Course, so there's still time to partake! 

 

 

Build a Better Graphic Course

There's a NEW Course coming up! Entrepreneurs this one is for you. It's about time, right?

I've been wanting to offer a Course just for those friends who are working hard to provide for their family. I see you out there and I applaud you. 

Who is this Course a good fit for? 

Small business owners, entrepreneurs in all sizes and flavors. The local coffee shop owner, the artist or crafter who just created an Etsy site, the savvy fashionista, the blogger, the network marketer, the side hustler, the eBay marketer. The folks out there making a difference but need a little help in the graphics department. 

When you share something about your business you have two ways to do that. Your words and your graphic. Guess which one your audience looks at first? On most social media platforms (and in print), your audience looks at the graphic before they even read what you have to say. If they like what they see, they will read what you have to say. 

I've been working hot and heavy on creating a Course just for you. A Course filled with step by step video tutorials, and a heirarchy for your graphics that is simple to master and you will refer to again and again. I'm pretty excited to share it with you! 

Gone are the days of spending hours with your nose in a 3" thick book trying to master design and PhotoShop. It was pretty overwhelming wasn't it. Don't get me wrong...I have mad love for PhotoShop...oh do I. It's not a good fit for most people and the learning curve is pretty steep. Guess what? It's 2017 and we can now create amazing and impactful graphics on our phones and our tables. 

It is important to me that every person in this Course walks away with more confidence in their graphics making so I am limiting the number of enrollments. If this interests you, don't wait until the Course is full.

The ultimate goal for small business owners is to invest little time and a few dollars and see big results quickly. I understand. I'm keeping this very valuable Course at a minimum price to help you do that. I know how impatient you are, I'm a small business owner, too!

 

Click on over to The Art Workshops section in the side bar to

get all the details on build a better graphic course

 

The Build a Better Graphics Course starts April 3! 

 

 

Avoiding Winter

What's your creative playground a/k/a table look like? Lately mine is filled with watercolors. Still. I got a few new Daniel Smiths last week and am excited to take them for a spin today! 

P.S. Lilly says hello!

Fresh Food Delivered

Last year, in a total rut for recipes, I convinced hubby to sign us up for Blue Apron. Have you ever ordered from a service that sends original recipes and fresh ingredients to your doorstep every week? We are loving my adventures in Blue Apron and wish I’d signed up sooner. Yup, we became fast friends.

There are a few companies like Blue Apron out there...Hello Fresh and Plate are similar. Whenever I write about our fantabulous meals on Instagram or Facebook, people all seem to have a preference for these services. 

Like a good chiropractor or therapist, that big brown box gives me just the right nudge to move my cooking in a new direction. I consider myself a pretty creative cook, yet certain ingredients like catfish or collard greens never made it to my week day repertoire. There’s a new spark to our dinners on Blue Apron nights. We are always impressed and in love with the meals because they are things I just don't ever make...which is kind of the point to even doing this, right? Our boys are continuously amazed with how great things taste, too. 

One of the recipes we had this week was Za-atar Chicken Souvlaki and they were amazinggggggg. 

If you have use a similar service, I'd love to hear about who you use and why. :)

 

 

 

Still Searching

So many creative legends lost this year and it amazes me (or does it) to learn about their battles with depression. George Micheal, Carrie Fisher, Prince...so many right?!

I have felt the pains of depression several times in my life and whenever I was in the thick of those feelings I used art as my way out. The artful act of expression was vital to me, so this really strikes a chord. I would sketch and paint to put the feelings somewhere else - on a canvas or a piece of paper...anywhere...so it wasn't in me anymore. It helped sooo much. 

The thing that's different with me now tho is I'm not that depressed person anymore. If you have been watching my artwork for over two years you can certainly see what I'm talking about. 

The portrait on the left was painted in the thick of sadness. About 6 months later I reworked the piece completely and that's her on the right.

 

 

Fast forward to current time and the need to create as a way out and has been for months. 

When I go to my studio I don't feel the need to create like I used to. I used to need it or I would explode. Not even kidding. Not for one second. 

That's not me anymore. 

I am sooooo glad I'm not that person anymore. It's very freeing really. I have evolved and changed. The sticks that used to save me from the inner dark cloud that confined my spirit have broken. I don't need art like I used to.

The challenge that I have now is can I paint as a happier person? I'm trying. 

What does that look like? It's almost like starting over if I'm being honest. It's doable I'm sure it is. Right? Is it passionate enough tho? That is what I wrestle with as I approach every new piece. 

The colors, the lines, the strokes. I'm experimenting there. 

Every time I fail now, I remind myself to grateful. Grateful that I am in this better state. Free from the darkness.