Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Resolutions or Not?

Dear Reader,

It is that time of the year again, the holidays are coming to a close and we come to the time everyone starts with the resolutions. Will you do them this year?

I have done them in the past - the most common ones too. You know lose weight, exercise more, be organized. Then there are the ones that I had as an artist - write and published a book, create more art, get my name out there more, etc.

I decided this year I will not have any resolutions - most of the time they do not work out anyway. I decided that instead I am going to use this quote in my studio and try to stay positive no matter what comes into my path.

Either I will find a way, or I will make one.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Native American singers - Supporting amazing talent

Dear Reader,

Since it is near the holiday of Thanksgiving, I am going to support my Native People. I am going to share singers who are amazing. Okay I could have keep going and going, but I am going to stop now. This is amazing talent. Enjoy.

Beautiful voices.

 
 
Harmony.
 

I sing mommy's little guy to my kids at bed time - sometimes.


 
My kids favorite song.
 
 

 
 
 
Love the words of the song and these guys are great. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Organizing art studio - paper shelf

Dear Readers,

I have been organizing and cleaning my studio over the last few months. I am building or repurposing items to make my studio function better for me. Here are some projects I did.


This one is my paper shelf. I made it from an old Walmart bookshelf.
All I did was drill more holes for the shelves, buy some shelf pegs and cut some extra boards. The trays with the ribbons are the pencils, pens, markers, etc. The boxes on the top shelf are shoe boxes covered in scrape book paper. All together I think this cost me $12 to make total.

 
This project is a tool organizer, I painted the drawers with chalkboard paint. It would not be complete without my pet turtle on top ( ha ha ). I got the shelf for $15.


So far I am happy with one wall of my studio but I am slowly working my way around the room and soon I will have the studio of my dreams (hopefully - fingers crossed).

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dear Readers,

I did a book reading at Black Hills State University last night so I wanted to touch on how to do a great book reading.

I think that I did okay but anyone who says that they cannot improve makes me wonder. I can honestly say I was nervous.

Go here for some great advice.

One piece of advice they cover is talk more, read less. Yeah, I did this one but I think my rhythm was a little off and I am going to blame that on nerves. It was the first time that I did a reading on a stage, usually I am in a room and it is more personal with the audience. My advice to add to this is sit down and make it more personal with the audience and I wished I had did this. Next time definitely.

Another thing is picking your excerpt carefully. I did this but I have watched many authors readings and I have a piece of advice to. You need to give a little background up to the point of where you are starting to read. A little about the story (back of the book) or small details that lead up to this scene. I did this, but this is another area I can improve on.

Say Thank You. It is hard to remember sometimes especially when you are nervous, but it is good to do. In that regard, I want to say thank you to the Reading Club at Black Hills State University for having me. It was a great experience.

It is hard to get in front of people sometimes, I know that most writers are more comfortable in front of a computer than in front of a crowd. However, doing readings and signings are part of the job and a bonus is you get to meet a lot of great people.

Does anyone have any great advice to add to this?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mentors Matter


Dear Reader,

I wanted to share about two people who are and have been important to my writing career. I would not be who I am without these people.

The first one is actually not one person but a group of people, my family, with my husband in the front. If my husband, kids and sisters were not so supportive I don’t know if I would be a published writer. My husband was the one who pushed me to publish and keep writing. He encourages me in so many ways and is a great sound board for my books. My kids are the inspiration and muses of my books. They are great sound boards too, especially my oldest daughter. We could talk about my books and ideas for hours. Lastly, my sisters have read my books and gave me advice. They have shared my book and told everyone and anyone who would listen. My family is a very important part of my life.

The second is my author mentor JC Phelps. It is funny we met four years ago. We have one of those relationships that from the first moment you felt like you knew them your whole life. She has told me what I needed to do to get started after I published my book, how to promote myself. She has been a great help and friend when I have issues with editors, book covers, and all the other issues that come up being an author.

I have a great circle of friends and family who help me or just listen and without these people I would not be where I am today. I had to share the important people in my life. When you are an author or artist it is key to have a support system. I wanted my support system to know that I appreciate them.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DIY: Mailing Center

Dear Reader,

I have been busy cleaning and making my studio more effective for my business. I created this quite easily with supplies I had on had except for the peg board ( which was $5).

1) I found a dyi similar to this on Pinterest.

2) I measured and cut the pegboard.

3) then I used small eye hooks and picture hanging wire to hang the brown paper. (I use this when I am shipping off an order from my Etsy store. )

4) I used the same eye hooks and picture wire on the back to hang it on the wall.

5) I added the baskets to hold the stamps I use.

Note: I want to paint the pegboard white and other things that I use to ship items on the board. I am happy with it for now. Now on to more organizing. Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The birth of book characters

Dear Reader,


I have been asked on more than one occasion where my characters come from. Why they are born of course, how silly to ask.

 

They are born from people in my life, or people that I meet that leave an expression on me, whether it is a good or bad one.

Papakoosigun, Waazakone, and Wakangli are based off me in some aspects. I can see parts of myself when I look at them and I can see events that happened to me, happen to them. All I can hope is that they are strong enough to handle it. Some of the situations such as being kidnapped was a fear of my past and almost happened to me twice. But I only make up part of them, just like children they have some aspects of me and some aspects of others.

The main male characters are inspired my husband who I admire greatly. One of the characters in Hidden Powers get some of her aspects from my oldest daughter. The other characters have aspects from family and my other kids. It is great to see them come alive on the page. One of the characters is based on my mother and carries her name. She asked me if I killed off the character, I laughed and said no.

I have a character bible that I am transferring all my character info into. It contains all the info on a character. I can look back at it and it helps me not to make mistakes. Sometimes I get into writing and their voices are so strong I do not have to look at the character book. Those are the days that make me happy, the story just flows.
 

FAVORITE QUOTE WHEN IT COMES TO CHARACTERS:  “No tears in the writer, No tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, No surprise for the reader.” Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chatting the day away :D Self published Authors Facebook Page


 
Self Published Authors has been kind enough to offer me a spot TODAY !!  September 16th, 2014. I'm scheduled between 8:30 PM and 4:30 PM MST, and I have hourly topics and will answer any questions. So come join the chat. Can't wait to see you there!

 
Here is a link to the page!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/716015091774487/

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Here are a few youtube videos that helped me with creating dyi storage for organizing. It is great and gives you a sense of pride to create something that you use everyday.

                                                             Art Inventory Binder



DYI Organizing boxes

I used these three ideas and altered them to meet my needs. A great source is Youtube but also Pinterest. Happy Organizing.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review and Cleaning / Organizing Grid List

Review of important items for Organizing

  • First - you need a label maker (so you can see where everything is at a glance)
  • Second- you need boxes of multiple sizes (shoe boxes work great and they are readily available)
  • Third - you have to have a trash can available and (don't be afraid to use it)
  • Fourth - Use big boxes to organize different sections (One box for art supplies, one box for fabric, one for beads)
  • Fifth and Final - you should try to have a sense of humor and patience - (it will all work out in the end)

Cleaning / Organizing Grid

Ok now that we did a quick list of the things you need you need to decide how to attack the problem.

Some people like list and I am one of them but when I am organizing I use a grid system along with list and I keep a handy dandy notebook  (can you tell I have kids) at hand. That way I can write down what I need to get to help me and make list for each quadrant.

 
This is for my studio - each quad represents something in my room - a shelf, the desk, etc.
 
You can do this for the entire house.
 
What I do --- I focus on one quad a day. Then it is not so overwhelming. I use the quads when cleaning and organizing. If this was my house I would do 2 quads a day to clean and if I cleaned every week - each quad would take me 1/2 hour max.
 
 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Organizing Quotes of the Month

Organizing Quotes of the Month





I think Organizing your home, time and life is really about a frame of mind. It takes determination to make chaos have order. With three kids -believe me I know. These are a few of my favorite quotes of the day.


Organization isn't about perfection it's about efficiency, reducing stress, & clutter, saving time & money & improving your overall quality of life. -- Christina Scalise

Organizing is really just one big game of Tetris. -- Alejandra


For ever minute spent organizing, an hour is earned. -- Benjamin Franklin


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Key Item for Organizing: trash can

Organizing : Key Item
 
 
 

You can click on the image on the sidebar to go to amazon link.


This may seem funny and of course it is common sense to have one. But you will need one while organizing and it is always good to have close.

 In this step you want to have your trash can, and a line of boxes. Each with a name on them. Give away, fabric, paints, books, etc.


So my suggestion is to go through everything, and find it a permanent home. It will make your projects go faster if you know where things are. Good luck



Here are some pictures of this concept. :D



 
 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Organizing Art Studio - Key Item - Boxes





Organizing : Key Item
 
 
 

You can click on the image on the sidebar to go to amazon link.


Key Items : Boxes of Multiple Sizes

I use 12 quart plastic boxes for storage in my art studio.

 I label each one and it keeps me organized.


You should also gather other types of boxes:

        shoe boxes
        shipping boxes
        food boxes (cereal, cracker, etc)

These will be the beginning of your organization system. My suggestion is to also get shipping tape, decorative duck tape, and get ready to use your label maker.



Here are some pictures of my boxes in my studio. :D
 

 
 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Organizing Art Studio - Key Item - Label Maker

Organizing : Key Item
 
 
 
You can click on the image on the sidebar to go to amazon link.


This is the label maker that I have and I will say that I love it.

 It makes me happy to see the labels in my studio and home.

It makes life easier, especially with kids.

So my suggestion is to get a label maker and this is a great one to start with. I have had mine for years.



Here are some pictures of my labeled studio. :D

 
 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Release! Unique Adaptations

I am so excited and I wanted to share.

My new book release!




 
 
Reflections Series Book 1 Dystopian Fantasy The world of technology is over and the magical creatures of the world come out of hiding. The world has changed and for one unique young girl, Waazakone, life has always been a struggle to survive. Being different in a world of chaos brings unwanted attention. This elf maiden tries to fade into the background and live a peaceful life, but that is asking for the impossible. She is the key to restoring the destroyed world to a safe place, but can she accomplish what everyone is asking of her?

http://www.amazon.com/Unique-Adaptations-Dystopian-Fantasy-Reflections/dp/0984789677/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402589063&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=vr+janis+unique+adaptations

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

1st Tuesday of May - Librarians

 
Image from www.mercerme.com
 
 
SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE LIBRARIANS IN THE WORLD!!

This is my first blog post for the librarians and of course it has to be a thank you. I have always had a passion for books and I think I can thank the librarians of my past, present and future for supplying my habit.

I think the librarians are what make the libraries what they are. I have met some great, warm and helpful librarians and I could sit the whole day curled in the corner of the library with a book. They fill the spaces between the books with happiness.

Thank you.

So my question to the librarians is what types of things would you love to read about? What kind of posts interest you? Comment and let me know, I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured place - Antelope Canyon, USA


picture from classic-thunderbird-club.com

I think that there are a lot of places on Earth that still have magic and this place seems to be one of them. The colors and the flow of the Earth are a beautiful thing. If you search for fairies I wonder if they hide in the shadows of this magical realm. A place to spend time at added to the list.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

elf tip of the week - Honesty


Art from deviantart by dariofish


Elf tip #7 - Honesty

Honesty is sometimes an overlooked value. You can tell a white lie if it doesn't hurt anyone, right? The elves value honesty above other values and they can tell when someone is lying. Do not lie to an elf unless you want them to point it out in front of everyone around you. They will then put the rest f what you have to say in question. So take a lesson from the elves and try to be honest.

If you do not want to know the answer then do not ask me the question. This is what I tell others because I try to be very honest in my answer. Happy days to you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Song - Lindsey Stirling (Stars Align)


I have to feature this artist because she is great. She is what I write to and what me and my kids jam to when we are creating art. Just listen and you will understand :D

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ojibwe / Lakota word of the week - turn on / turn off light



 The word of the week is more of a phrase or actually two phrases, because I am always telling my kids to turn off the light. A I was researching this I realized there are actually no words for turning off and on the light so I did the best I could. :D

Ojibwe - (turn on light) - waazakonebidoon - waa-zay-coal-knee-bee-doon
               (make dark room ) - ozhitoon dibikate - o- zee-toon dee-bee-kah-tay

Lakota - (to light) - iyo'yanpa - e - yo -yawn - pa
                (to make darkness) - ka'ga oi'okpaza - kahn - gaa o-e  oak-paa-zaa


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

featured item - fairy doors

 
 
This fairy door can be found at faekeepers on etsy. Or you can make your own.
 
I want to make a few for our fairy garden that we want to create this summer. I think their is magic to be found all over the world. You just have to believe.
 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

elf tip of the week - Wisdom

Picture from deviantart by Kimir-Ra

Elf tip #6 - wisdom . This pertains to thinking before you say or do anything. It is easy to say something in anger, but it is hard to take it back. The person may forgive you, but they remember what you said. So take advice from the elves and think before you act. It is better than regret.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Featured book - Secrets of the Sirens - Julia Golding

picture from en.wikipedia.org 
I wanted to feature this book because it is a book that takes a person, young or old on a magical journey. It was a great read and my daughter loved it. The creatures that are in this book create an unforgettable experience.

Great read!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ojibwe / Lakota word of the week - help



Help is the word of the week, because everyone needs a little help sometimes and should not be afraid to ask. It is near the beginning of spring and I ask that you help the earth.

Ojibwe - (help) - wiidookaazo - we-duke-kaa-zo

Lakota - (help) - o'kiya - o- key- yeah

What does helping mean to you?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

featured item - Native American beadwork

picture from en.wikipedia.org 

I wanted to featured Native American beadwork because I know how hard it is to do beadwork. I beaded my sons regalia and it took me weeks to get it all done. I wanted to give a shout out to all the Native Beaders and say that you create amazing pieces so keep on beading!

Support our artists :D

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Elf tip of the week - bravery


Art from deviantART by EternalLordsTeam

Elf tip #5 - Bravery is thought to be something that you have to have to go to war and fight. And it is. But there is another form of bravery that is just as important. Being brave enough to stand against the storm for something that you believe in. Going against the crowd for your beliefs is sometimes a hard task to do. It takes a brave soul to be different and let others know it.
So, take a lesson from the elves and find something that you feel strongly about and stand up for it. It doesn't matter if you have hundreds behind you or it is just you. Be brave and proud. May you find your path!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Featured item - small home design

picture from en.wikipedia.org 
Featured item that help me believe in the values of our people and achieving the impossible. I don't think I could live in a home this size with a family of five and a dog. However, I grew up in a one room house so I know that it is possible to survive. :D

I would love to build a compact strawbale home.

They are coming up with new designs every day and it is amazing to see. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HnTQNkoRw4

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ojibwe / Lakota Word of the Week - Green



Green is the word of the week, because I am hoping to see the color soon. It is the beginning of March and getting close to spring. Soon our lives will be surrounded by green.  The beauty of the earth all around us.

Ojibwe - (green) - ozhaawaashko - o-zaa-wash-coal (put this in front of something to describe it)

Lakota - (green) - tozi - toe-zee

How does green make you feel?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

featured place - Tunnel of love, Ukraine

picture from www.amusingplanet.com 

I think that this place looks magical and I can understand why it is called the tunnel of love. It just feels romantic even through the picture. Beautiful and helps me believe in the wonders of the world.

What helps you to believe in the wonders of the world?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Elf tip of the week - Generosity

Picture from deviantART by Emerald-rei

Elf tip #4 - Generosity is a way of life for the elves. It is not giving away all your possessions. However, in some cases they are known to be generous in that way too.
The main place you see their generous nature is when you enter their home and come to visit. They give you the best place to sit, they offer food and drink, they offer a great place to sleep. They best thing that they are generous with is listening and offering advice, being there and giving of their time. Never expecting anything in return.
So, take a lesson from the elves - listen to your friends without waiting to talk about yourself. Offer people a drink, food or a kind word. These are the things that are forgotten. Happy day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Featured Movie - Harry Potter




picture from pottermore.wikia.com 

The featured movie is Harry Potter and you can take your own pick of the which of the series. I love them all.

I asked my kids what made them believe and they said this movie made them believe in magic. I have to agree it is pretty awesome to see all the wizards, magic and magical creatures. The movies are amazing but if you have not read the books, I suggest you do. I love to read a book and watch the movie and see the differences between the two.

What movie makes you believe in magic?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ojibwe / Lakota word of the week - Believe

Believe is the word of the week, because that is what this blog is about. It is the beginning of March and getting close to the time of new beginnings. Believing is something that is hard to explain sometimes but it is there.

Ojibwe - (believe) - debwetam - deb - way - tom

Lakota - (believe) - wica'la - we -chon-lah


What does believing mean to you?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Elf tip of the week - offering tobacco


Northern Elves by Beaver-Skin

Artwork found at Deviant Art by Beaver-Skin

Elf tip #3 - Offering Tobacco. When you see an elf making an offering, please be respectful and do not disturb them or ask questions until they are finished. Offering tobacco is a prayer. There are many reasons that they do the offerings - one of the main one is to be thankful for each gift that they have. Whether it be a new day, food in their stomachs, warmth on a cold day, or friendship. Sometimes, people forget to be thankful for the good things that they have in life - it is a good reminder.

Learn from the elves and be thankful. Take a minute to give thanks for the good and great things you have when you wake up in the morning. It is these moments that bring joy to the rest of our days.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"BELIEVE" - languages

"Believe" is the word of this blog and of my hope for children and adults alike. I asked my children what makes them believe in traditions and the values of our people and they said language.

They said listening to the elders speak and watching the ceremonies take place. Most of the cultures would not be the same if they did not have the expression of their languages. It is the magic that connects everything together.

I love to listen to other people speak their languages. I do not understand but they are still beautiful. I have two stories to tell about languages.

The first one: 

I was talking to my friend on the phone. She is American Somona. She stopped our conversation because her cousin came in. They were speaking their language and I couldn't understand what they were saying but I just listened . There was so much excitement in their voices, it made me smile. She came back on and apologized and I laughed. I did not mind the wait, it was beautiful to witness. The love and pride they have in their language and culture.  So in her language - Talofa (Hello)

The second one:

I was with my friends and we were at my house. Our kids were playing and we were visiting. My oldest two made their little sister cry as siblings are bound to do from time to time. I went over to them and talked to them in our language - telling them to play nice and say sorry. They did and went on their merry way. I went back to my friends and sat down. I started talking to them, but all of them had a weird look on their faces. I finally stopped talking and asked what? They told me they could not understand me. Apparently, when I went back I was speaking Ojibwe to my friends and it did not even register with my brain. I said sorry. It took me minutes of concentrating to get back to English. It hurt to have to go back to English. I love my culture and my language, and I need to find out ways to incorporate it into every aspect of my life.

What is your experience with language either your own, learned or heard?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ojibwe / Lakota word of the week - Red




Red is the word of the week, well because it is still February and I still the love in the air. Red is one of the scared colors of my people. It represents many things to many different people.

Ojibwe - (red - add to the front of a word to describe an object) misko - (miss-coal) OR (be red) miskozi - (miss-coal -zee)

Lakota - (red) luta - (lou - tah)


What does red mean to you?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Elf tip of the week - Talking to them

Elves by joinjump

Artwork found at deviantart by artist joinjump (William)


Elf tip #2 -

Respect while talking. Elves have a lot of pride, but also understand the earth. When there is too much talking, the earth and her creatures can not be heard. They are not shy about shushing you if they would prefer quiet. If a person shows disrespect when talking to them - they would be shunned by the entire community until they could right the wrong.

When talking to an elf, please use respect. You can address them as elder, sir, madam, tall one. You may be able to get away with pointed ear with the younger ones. If you use disrespect be prepared to duck and run, they will use their skills and talents to get you back. Be prepared to be smack on the head or even pranked. The younger ones like to make an example of someone so let the warning be known. Use respect when you talk to your elders :D

Follow the elves example, be quiet and listen to your environment, you may learn something new. Second, think before you speak, because words cannot be retrieved, no matter the regret. Respectful days to you.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Believe Quote

Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.
                                                                                Brad Henry


As I struggle to deal with the business aspect of my art, I question myself a lot. I need to remember these words and let them give me the belief that everything will happen as it should if I continue to do what I should.

I just need to remember to take a deep breathe and focus. Have a happy day and believe in yourself.

Are there times that you struggle with your art, work, or any other aspect in your life?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Featured Song - Jana Mashonee - A change is gonna come



I love this song. Change is hard, but necessary. I think people need strength. She is a great singer and this song makes me feel like I can accomplish anything and that is part of our message of "believe". Support our artists. Here is her website. http://www.janamashonee.com/

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ojibwe / Lakota Word of t he Week - Love

I know that Valentine's Day is over but I think that love is a great thing to strive for. In that frame of mind we come to the word of the week.

Love

Ojibwe - to love someone - Zaagi - (Zah - gee)

Lakota - love - Wo'wastelaka - (Whoa - wash - tay - lah - kah)

Try to say you love them in your language. What other words do you want to learn?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Elf tip of the week - Love

Elves by susumus

Artwork found at Deviant Art by Susumus

Elf tip #1 - Since it is Valentine's day the tip deals with love. Elves are loyal and devoted to the ones that they love. They will go to whatever necessary measure to protect their loved ones. They love only one person through their long lives, so they have to choose wisely. Follow the elves example and protect your heart, but when you give it - give it with all your being to the one who gains it. Happy Valentine's Day. May you find happiness, love and peace.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

BELIEVE - what does this mean to my art?



I was told to pick one word that would encompass all that I do in my business. Well, if you know anything about my business this was hard.

I write
I create fine art photography
I do videos
I sketch and paint
I consult on writing and art

So I thought for a long time on this and wrote down a list of words. None of them felt right. Then I came to Believe.

Believe worked.

Here is my list for Believe.

Believe . . .
- In magic
- In the wonders of the world
- In traditions
- In the power of language
- In the values of our people
- In imagination
- In creativity
- In the importance of remembering
- In yourself
- In achieving the impossible

All the bullets are me and my company. Can you think of one word to sum up everything you stand for and want to be known for?