A curve down the path

Life has been rolling around here lately, it has really been paint central as I have been prepping and going to different indie craft shows this holiday season. While I love my girls and their whimsy I have been having this tug that maybe it is time to get a little bit more technical with my paintings. I had asked a few months ago on my fan facebook page what art people are drawn to and an overwhelming response was nature. So I gave it a go but nothing was clicking until a crafty friend of mine posted this picture on her facebook wall:

(Photo by: Vanessa of Baily Belle she is an amazing accessories designer and hurry she is having a great sale on her etsy shop through tomorrow!) 

 Everything about this photo spoke to me the colors the feel just everything and the spark was found. Around this time I had learned a new technique (for me not in the world of art) with wet paint and plastic wrap. I was ready to play and push myself out of my comfort zone. And this is what appeared:

And since then I havent been able to stop painting birch trees! I have a group of them that I plan to mix in with my girls at the upcoming Craftacular in Madison, WI on Dec 14 & 15th. And who knows next year at this time it will be more about nature and less about whimsy, we will have to see or maybe just maybe I will find my own way to combine the two! So there you go, still here, still painting, still growing. Hope you are too!

 (Want to see more art that I will have at the upcoming show? I created a pintrest board of sneak peeks feel free to take a look, and give me some feedback!)

My long boring family room is in a need of an EPIC makeover!

Hey guys, whoa summer is already up and I havent posted a darn thing.... shame on me between the new house, becoming a first time gardener, canning like crazy, and keeping three kiddos busy so they didnt go stir crazy these summer months have flown! And to top it all off baby #4 is going to make a debut at the end of January!

 Now that we are caught up lets get down to business....

 Our new home is a 60's style ranch we have had a lot of fun adding our personality to each room on our budget but we have come up blank and have no good idea/plan for the room we have deemed our family room. In comes Mandi from Vintage Revivals she has an Epic Room Makeover Giveaway and I would be crazy not to enter! That girl has my style down to a T and I know she could make some serious magic out of my very long pretty bland family room. So without further ado lets take a tour of the place shall we?

(no judging the amounts of so's, um's or how much I go on about having too many green things in our house!)


So there it is in all its glory, like I have said probably one too many times its a really long room at 22.5 feet long and only 10.5 feet wide. It has little wall space thanks to the very wonderful large picture window (which we love) and the cut out window to the kitchen (which flusters us as to what to exactly do with it!) along with two doorways (one being a double entrance- put doors in or not that is the question)
(this is the only time I actually dressed up the fireplace thanks to my abundance of peony bushes)

 While I know I gushed about my couch ( I really do love it) everything and anything in the room can be relocated, painted, upholstered, or donated everything is flexible and the more change the better for us! The dream for us is to have a room that our kids can grow into and enjoy every season in there!

 So here is my plead, besides the three little ones running around (6, 3, 1) our fourth will be making their debut by the end of January. Without Mandi's help this poor example of a family room will stay a hodge podge at least until next summer when I get out of the newborn haze!

 Mandi please help guide me to make my room dreams come true, I am a hard worker with lots of creative gusto that is fearless when it comes to paint, color, and fabric but lacks the putting of it all together. (I can give you a picture resume of all my projects if that will nudge me to the top *wink*)  With your help I know we can make all my home decor magazine and pinterest board dreams come true!

 Now friends, voting for my entry will be in about a week (sept 7-14th), dont worry I'll let you know I'd love to get your votes! And for getting through this semi-long post here is a quick video keeping it real and how messy the room is when the kids take over the room....

Broken Promises

sleek and shiny

So this month just didnt work out as getting a list done a day, oh well I gave it a good effort at times! So to wrap it up I am just going to do a Link Love Friday. With all of our lives in boxes I havent painted much and for awhile there wasnt even thinking about painting canvases it was more about painting walls and home decor. I think the thrill of that has passed (we still have about a month before we are moving in to our house) so now that most of my art stuff is in storage I am missing painting so much and am squirreling away information for when I can get all my art stuff out and make some messes! Here are some things that I am inspired by! Enjoy!

Im a HUGE fan of this artist. I love that she shared a glimpse into her changing styles as her art evolved. Really left me inspired and not so alone that sometimes my style is pulling me into a COMPLETELY different direction.

Hello beautiful statment wall! I am thinking of doing this in one space in my "art" area. First though I am going to try it as a background for a painting. Practice makes perfect right?!?!?

Not only does the above designer paint her home in bold amazing ways (take a look at her DIY tab, SO much fun stuff) she also has a pretty genius business that is a DIY dream! Dont know how I didnt find her stuff sooner!

I have been inspired lately by more structured backgrounds/artwork. This post wanted me to brush up on drawing straight lines, and get away from the throw the paint down and see what emerges process I have lately.

And finally I just found this artist late last night in an interview she had done on a PBS show I saw late last night (thanks insomnia I have had lately!) Isnt she amazing?!?! Makes me want to get out my paper and start tearing it up and making something RIGHT NOW.....

Now I have to fight the urge to bust into my art supply boxes! Have a great weekend friends!!!

Favorite days of the year

You get what you give

1) thanksgiving - hands down my favorite holiday

2) my birthday - a day all about me and only me? Yes please!

3) the rest of the families birthdays- its fun to celebrate each person in the family on their own special day

4) mothers day- I normally can guilt hubby into taking me to my favorite antique store

5) Sundays- favorite day of the week (except late Sunday evenings those I always wish go slow but normally fly by into Monday morning)

Pet Peeves

Eat your veggies

1) My kids not eating what I made for dinner because its "yucky" (even though last week they ate it and LOVED it!)

2) Mean people. Nuff said

3) The "stink eye" face Leila makes when she is grumpy at someone. Drives me batty!

4) the crumbs that magically appear on my carpet RIGHT AFTER I VACUUMED! (all caps folks hate it!)

5) my kids enjoy emptying every tissue box and baby wipe container they can find. I have literally walked into a room where you can no longer see the floor since it is covered in tissues *sigh*

What about you? What drives you batty?

Things I overheard today

Ok so this is a tough one since I don't go out often so it's normally just me and the kiddos so this is more things the kids said, in the words of Tim Gunn: make it work!

1) moo. Quack. Ssssss. Kenson is big on animal sounds still working on full words but we will get there!

2) yea I'm naughty sometimes. It's because I'm a kid - Leila

3) 7 out 10 days have been record highs- weather man on tv Seriously it feels like the middle of summer here in Wisconsin.

4) life gives to the givers and takes from the takers- Marie Forleo mentioned it in her q&a today.

5) full belly laughs as Valen discovers were his belly button as daddy tickles him.

Toys and Tools to try


(this picture has nothing to do with the list, just love how Leila likes to dress herself!)

This list is gonna be fun since we are shortly going to be homeowners (eek... sorry I know I have talked about packing a lot lately!) there are new toys Ken and I are super excited to play with!

1) Circular saw: we are wanting to build our own furniture and thanks to this website, I really think we can!
2) Push Reel Lawn mower: our yard is decent but not too big that using a man powered lawn mower would be too big of a chore.
3) Polaroid camera: I have a few that I have collected and briefly played around with them I am excited to bust them out again since I recently found a stack of film I had stashed while packing!
4) Wax: I have been wanting for a VERY long time to add wax to my paintings and this is the year!
5) Serger: I have had one for two years that I have never touched (I know I know I have this huge fear of sewing my fingers together, dont know why since I have no fear of doing this with my sewing machine) no more fear, plus I have lots of home sewing to do, hello curtains!

I couldnt trim my list so here is one extra

6) Spray paint! Odd I know but since we live on a second floor apartment to lug things down to paint them and make sure I have drop clothes etc to paint furniture it has been a bit of a pain. Plus as a bonus I can use it in my artwork more easily thanks to an outdoor studio in my future!

10 years ago....

(a view from my childhood home)

1) I was in my first year of college
2) dating the man I would marry
3) had no passion for sewing or painting
4) was ready to take on the world
5) used yahoo messenger to chat with friends (havent used it years!!)

What about you?

Super powers Id like to have...

1) a way with words
2) the ability to put anyone at calm at any moment
3) nerves of steel
4) flying would be pretty cool
5) blink and poof a clean house!

What about you.... superpowers?

Right now I am.....


1) Listening to my new favorite old record of Gershwin music

2) taking a picture of my new favorite piece of art (see above) that I scored at the thrift store!

3) being the dinner police to get Kenson to eat his dinner (he is becoming more and more headstrong!- see below)

4) comforting Valen who got his first bloody nose today (thanks to gravity and a door frame oh and shaky way too fast moving baby legs)and is overly crabby thanks to a nap that got cut short. (hello early bedtime?!?!)

5) watching Leila make the most hilarious/odd movies that girl really cracks herself up!

On a complete side note.... Kenson is going through a transition I think his sleep habits are all over the board for days he wasn't going to bed until well past 11 and waking up at 8 and not taking naps (eek!) and now the last two days he hasn't taken his normal afternoon nap. Needless to say this momma is tired both physically and mentally. Who knew that a three year old could wear me out so much! (I had blocked my memory about how tough 3 was with Leila until Kenson started becoming very independent right before his third birthday. If he is anything like his sister this is going to be a long next year and a half!)

Today was awesome because


1) the weather! Open every...single...window kind of beautiful weather!!

2) getting one step closer to being debt free

3) happy good news on the house front

4) a half hour phone call with my dad. This is huge because we are both not big phone talkers.

5) tons of housework done but unlike most days it didn't feel like a chore. Bonus!!

Honestly a super awesome day :D

My Happy Place


Hey guys first off sorry for falling off the face of the earth first we got over a nasty cold and then well it got nice out and life just went on without me be attached to the computer! So lets pick up back where we left off shall we?

1) that above photo, its my make-shift art table that has allowed me to paint in the wee hours of the night while baby boy Valen is sound asleep
2) flea market, thirft stores, garage sales, estate sales, antique stores. Man I LOVE junking!!!
3) my childhood home, there is something about going up there for a weekend and doing absolutely nothing but hanging out with my parents, helping with yard work and watching WAY too many movies!
4) anywhere with my kiddos and hubby, but there is a stipulation, it is way happier if everyone is in a good mood.
5) a beautiful spring day laying out on a blanket looking up at the clouds and trying to find images in them.

What about you? I would love to hear about your happy place(s)!

I need to say no to...


1) coffee....oh but I love it so
2) my not so nice inner critic
3) buying anything until after we move
4) anything that makes the deep of my tummy feel bad
5) time suckers

(no reason for the photo besides its pretty rare those two are in the same room not driving each other batty!)

Things to collect


1) memories
2) vintage cameras
3) pretty dishes
4) big eyed paintings
5) pretty illustrated books

Words to live by


1) your best is good enough
2) do onto others as you would have others do onto you
3) this too shall pass
4) karma's only a b*tch if you are
5) “If you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen.” ― Conan O'Brien (one of my favorite quotes from Conan on his last night on the tonight show)

Things I'll put off until tomorrow

trust in the mess

So since we are super sick this weekend (every last one of us ugh!) this is an easy one!

1) vacuuming
2) picking up the toys that are strewn EVERYWHERE (seriously its like a mini toy bomb went off in our living room!)
3) getting out of my pjs (kinda have to, we have a no pj rule at work *smile*)
4) packing
5) ending the poor me I'm sick pitty party. In my defense I really havent gotten to have a big pitty party as most moms can tell you even if you are sick as can be it doesnt really matter even if one other person has the sniffles and in my case the kids are battling the same painful cold/flu as I am!

Recipe for a perfect weekend


1) everyone is in good health
(can't say that will be this weekend we all are at some level of a cold, and Ken has bronchitis!)
2) warm spring like weather
3) good old movie on tv
4) good food
5) a few hours to wonder around an antique or thrift store with coffee in hand

I know for a fact that at least 3 of these 5 things won't happen so we will just have to make the most of it!!

Day two of lists

stand in the storm

This Month's Goals:

1) Get everything done that is required to get our home loan (hello 1st time home buyers classes!)
2) Get everything that we dont use on a regular basis packed
3) Get some new paintings up on the studio site
4) Research about creating my art dreams into a LLC
5) Dance parties in the living room minimum once a night!

Happy March 1st!

So this March I have taken a challenge. The 30 Days of Lists challenge. I havent really looked at the prompts so each day I will just go with the flow and write 5 (or more) things to each of these prompts. Hope you will join me!

Challenges to Accept
1) Less TV time (since I have stopped facebook for a few weeks TV has taken up that spare time, need that to stop!)
2) Get myself out there more by teaching my art style
3) Vlogs or tutorial videos
4) Read a book (I used to be SUCH a book worm, sad to say I havent cracked open a book probably in a year besides Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. Maybe the time I am spending off of facebook and watching less tv should be spent getting lost in a good book)
5) More home cooked "multi" stepped meals. Right now the most complicated thing I seem to make is Mac & Cheese. Needless to say I have been blessed with a husband who is an amazing cook and I have been taking full advantage of it to the point that my kids now point it out (eek!)

I hope that is what that prompted meant, now I am second guessing myself!

A weekend wrap up


Whoa what a weekend! Leila was off of school for parent teach conferences (boy do the kids need to know a lot for kindergarten, when I went to school the biggest lesson for kindergarten was dont eat the glue!) we did a little house hunting, had some meetings at playland (love our real estate agent!), put an offer in on a house (!!!), found out someone else wanted said house, put in another offer, and found out we got the house (!!!!), had a celebration meal (Chinese style).

It has been a whirlwind weekend, and this I know is just the beginning.... to be continued!

Wrapped in Faith

faith be bigger

So first thing if you dont follow me on Facebook this will be news to you. I am taking a break from facebook for lent. It seriously may be harder than the year I gave up chocolate. It is sad though this day and age the thing that is on top of my list as "hard" to be without is a social media format. pretty sad indeed.

So lets say I am giving a myself a self-imposed break because I am TOO contected and its all thanks to my handy dandy phone, man it makes it too easy to have everything you need at your finger tips! I am an all or nothing type of gal so once I finally agreed to join facebook (which took a long time of my best friend begging me to join, thanks bff!) I have jumped in and havent looked back. I check that dang thing more than I care to admit to! So time to take a break and refocus!

So coming up in the month of March each day for thirty days I will be partaking in the 30 days of lists. I am really excited and I am finding I am driven by challenges.

Speaking of challenges I will do a wrap up post about my 29 faces in 29 days (hello leap year!) I am at face 27 so I feel pretty confident I will make it to my goal.

Love you all, and if you practice the "art" of giving up something for lent do share, and if you dont, what do you think you desperately need a break from?- see you in the comments!

Lunch trays-not just for lunch

So last month when I was teaching a class at DIY studio & gifts they had placemats and trays for each student to use, instantly I thought that would be great for at home for working with the kids.

So when I came across a few trays last week and my hubby thought I was crazy and that i would never use them. I sent him this picture last night:

The perfect portable art tray! *smile*

A weekend in photos


This was an extra long weekend for us. Thanks to Mr. Flu knocking on our door and hanging his hat to stay for a few days. Momma and baby seem to be the only ones to stay away from him :( So in between checking temps, repositioning blankets, and making sure everyone stayed hydrated I somehow was able to get ahead of my 29 faces challenges and as of yesterday hit number 21. So that means I am giving myself a break from painting today (If I want) and hopefully take a nap.... if I can get all of the kiddos to have quiet time all at the same time *smile*

Wish me luck!

It was bound to happen

I have a strong pull towards circles and in particular embroidery hoops. So it was only
time that I would take and use the hoop with original artwork!

I love this gal she was created with a 10" hoop. I used duck cloth as the canvas but I'm thinking of using actual painting canvas and see if it's easier.

The duck cloth is thick and really takes in the paint. I'm a pretty impatient painter so waiting for paint to dry is not my favorite thing!

Leila sat with me at my new art area and collaborated with me on the piece(she picked out the shirt color)

And kept me in giggles.

What art has taught me


Face 7 of my 29 challenge.

Last night as I sat down to create I had in mind who I wanted to create an art piece for. The last few times I had done this it went swimmingly everything turned out how I had envisioned it and I loved them so.

So #7 had a person in mind and went to work. And then the painting decided it didnt want to be what I had in mind. Normally at this stage I would walk away and most likely gesso it to turn it into something new later. But last night, I played, I let the painting come to life on its own and show me what it was meant to be.

I am a person who normally goes with the flow I'm not known to fight my way telling the waves I know a better way, except when it comes to painting oddly enough. So last night art taught me how to trust in the process and go with the flow.

Because of that I got to paint a portrait like never before, the paper and paint blended blue and yellow started showing up from layers below. A touch of pink and purple where it would normally not be found. I got to paint a portrait I have always wanted to try but was too scared to. A portrait where "non-traditional" colors were used mixed in with the flesh tones.

So this painting will not be gifted to who I had in mind, in the end she has been gifted to me.

Trust in the mess folks and enjoy the ride!

29 faces

29 faces

So I briefly mentioned this challenge which I had heard through the grape vine of other blogging artists. Only problem? I found out about out oh 10 days in or so. Ugh. But none the less I am committing to making 29 faces (minimum). The lovely lady above? She is number 6 and she is destined to an artist that I am a huge fan of. Ack my first fan art!!! I hope she likes it, she recently dyed her hair pink and I am envious of her awesome hair color *smile*

So 6 down 23 to go! I am really excited about this series as time goes on I have a feeling a few (or more) of these lovely ladies will be making their way to the studio.

A gift

My good friend Michelle from Dainty Daisies had her Grand Opening celebration for her new store. She recently closed her store in Oshkosh and moved to an amazing space in Appleton.

So to celebrate we took a mini family vacation and went Appleton. I wanted to give Michelle a little gift so I painted a picture (one of my 29 faces for this month-more on this later).

I have never painted glasses before but I was ready to give it a go since Michelle just recently got some cute glasses!

I stole this picture from her Facebook page *smile* so if you are from the Appleton region love vintage clothes and handmade goodness go stop by Michelle's store you wont regret it oh and tell her I sent you!

What a year!

Happy Birthday baby boy Valen! As baby number three I was terrified and excited for you! You have been a game changer in the fact that I now have to learn to manage my time so that all kiddos get the right amount of attention and because of that you sir have been planted on my hip since birth. Me and you are like this *fingers crossed* which has been a blessing and curse (somedays) all in one. It means that no babysitter can take my place and you are very vocal about that! It also means I get the biggest best hugs and smiles all day long!

As many moms will say this last year has flown and at the same time it feels just like yesterday and forever you have been in my life. It is an odd and unexplainable feeling until you have children yourself.

Thank you for all that you are.

Deep big brown eyes with long eyelashes (like brother and sister)
Dancing King
Snuggle Bug
Funny oh so funny

Happy birthday my Valen (tine)

Love you hugs and kisses- Momma

Oh sweetheart

Feb Hoop Gals

Thanks to an extra long nap from both of the boys I was able to get some hoop gals finished up and loaded on to my studio. Each time I make these I seem to change it up a bit. The newest thing for me is to use my over the top stash of fabric as the background. I am also creating the shirts for the gals with paint and gesso.

If you would love a made for you piece (a quote, hair color, combo color) I love to do custom orders just send me an email and we will get all the details down and get it made for you! Normally it is a 1-2 week lead time but if you contact me within the next day or two I could get a specially made one for your sweetheart for Valentine's Day! (limit 3 customers)

Let the hue talk


Odd thing happen yesterday... I went into an art store to get a pastel or two and out walked with a small bag of things. While that in itself isn't odd what is odd is that my color choice heavily leaned towards red and I am not typically drawn towards reds! Maybe with valentines day quickly approaching I have a soft spot towards the color of love!

What about you? Drawn to a particular color lately?

What's been going on

This past weekend Kenson turned 3! Boy time is not on my side as it keeps flying by!

This last years has been an up and down roller coaster mainly due to your lack of talking and doing everything we can do to help you communicate.

Kenson at this moment:

You love anything with wheels in particular trains you have more trains than one little boy needs but my how your face lights up!

What lack of words you have you make up for in huge character and facial expressions, you crack me up like no other!

Words...a lot if focus on your talking or rather you not talking...we have faith that what is meant to be will be

Love -you have it and love to share it! you have became a great big brother even though you don't shy away from showing your unhappiness with your baby brother either. Your sister on the other hand you look up to her with stars in your eyes unfortunately your sister doesn't share the same love but I know one day she will.

What a year it has been baby boy I don't know about you but I am so excited to see the little guy you are growing to be and 3 is gonna be such a fun adventure!

Love you Ken-Ken

Happy happy


Have a great weekend! You will find us either

A) building snowman
B) curled on the couch watching a movie

Enjoy your weekend whatever you chose to do!!!

Cheesecake cup cakes


Photo by Kat Johnston

I had a huge craving for cupcakes the other day but was out of milk. So instead of scrapping the idea I made my own recipe.

And the frosting YUM!! Have you ever noticed that if you pipe on frosting on a cupcake it looks so much more yummy!

On to the recipe!

Cheesecake Batter:
1 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of room temp butter
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 package of room temp cream cheese
1/2 cup water

Heat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium bowl cream sugar and butter. Once smooth beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in the cream cheese.

In a separate bowl combine flour and baking powder. Add to the cream mixture a little at a time and mix well. At this point it will get really thick. Add your water to loosen up the batter. Go slowly you don't want it to become soup!

Bake for 20-25 minutes. makes about 18 cupcakes.

Note: This is a heavy batter, it will not be a light and fluffy type cake.


1/4 cup of room temp butter
5 Tbsp of coffee creamer (I went with a holiday flavor of sugar cookies. You can be creative or use your favorite coffee creamer)
2 cups of confectioners (powder) sugar

cream the butter and coffee creamer together, slowly add in the confectioners sugar. This is a thick creamy frosting. You can add a little water to thin it out.

I love this new to me frosting recipe!!! I am so excited to try it with all types of new coffee creamer flavors, can you say yum!!!!

(I'm a little over the moon with a sugar high if you couldn't tell from all of the exclamation points throughout this post *smile*)

Today I....

A new series to remind me all that happens in a single day and to remind myself (especially on those yucky days) how thankful I am for all that I have!

Today I....

Shook more hands in one hour than I do in a week.

Was reminded to turn from temptation and trust in the journey I am meant to live no matter how difficult.

Made homemade baby wipes!

Vacuumed at least three times

Laundry...there's always laundry

Cuddled lots (with all 3 kiddos at some point today)

Played in the snow

Had my football loving heart broken over my packers :(

Started reorganizing my art area

Uploaded new images on my website (more on that later)

Started working on a custom order

Realized I had even more fabric than I remembered....now I have to sort and only allow myself one tote (out of 8+!)

Did a lot more than I realized on what I thought was a bust of a day!!

Do you feel it?

A wave of creativity

My wave of creativity is back!!!
New original paintings added to my site.
Stay tuned: hoop gals and inspired art girls are next up!

My gift to me!

I have a few (ok a lot) artist crushes (which we can go over in better detail later). This year I vowed I would buy myself a piece of art from an artist I am crushing on. I have been crushing on Danielle Daniel from Her Painted Word for awhile now. This last year she has grown leaps and bounds professionally and she has been sharing her journey. I look up to her as an artist, woman, and mama.

She is doing this great series for the new year of tiny paintings that have a secret word/phrase in each painting, a fortune if you will. I am all about the calling of the universe and I figured, I have been crushing on her work for a year, the packaging was ubber cute, and tie in a universal positive message.... Im in!
My message says: You must give your own story to the world. Which for me means and in my world it is time to stop focusing so much on how other's artwork looks like and keep embracing who I am and how my soul portrays my art. So thank you Danielle and thank you universe *smile*Link
Besides the one painting I bought another itty bitty painting. Just for size comparison the painting on the right is one I finished up last night, (which plug: up on my site: www.stefanielinstudio.com) which is an 8x8 painting.

I love these little paintings, Ken just brought home some 4x4 chipboard for me.... I think I may have to try a tiny painting soon. 8x8 has always been my comfort zone... just the right size. Not too big so I am scared I am not filling in the space enough, not too small that I have to be good with details so to speak. But new year... new challenges right? 4x4 originals are on the "to-do list" for this year!

Do you have an artist crush? Show them some love, by a piece of art! And share in the comments who you crush on, I am always looking to lengthen my art crush list!


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