Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012

Instead of sleeping in, as I normally would when I'm emotionally exhausted, I woke up early and attended my 5am Fit Body Boot Camp class.  It was funny because the only people there were our fitness instructor, myself, and one other person.  It felt good to start today this way.  Afterwards, we stretched and discussed how I despise the month of January and February because of people's New Year resolutions to exercise.  They crowd my fitness and yoga classes making it too close for comfort.  Don't get me wrong.  I applaud those who make the choice to add fitness to their daily life.  I just don't like it when they encroach on my fitness routine.  :) Selfish...I know.

After the workout, I returned home to begin my day with my healthy breakfast of oatmeal and a hot cup of yummy coffee.  I relaxed, hoping that I would be tired enough to take a nap before taking on my day of pampering, making art, and preparing for a nice evening with my family.  In the past, I used to spend New Year's Eve making a final piece of art for the year.  I haven't done that in a while.  Maybe I will get that chance today.  I did finish creating 3 new Mizzles.

This year I'm staying home...well, my second home. I thought with the news we received earlier in the week about my dad that it would be best to spend tonight with family.  I don't believe in making New Year's resolutions.  They are created with the intentions of changing one's self.  Although, to change is well intended, but we are creatures of habit and I feel it is best to spend the time to acknowledge who we truly are and create realistic goals.  I haven't really come up with goals for myself, but I will soon.  At the moment, I am hoping 2013 brings me new worthwhile friendships, stronger bonds with current true friends, an unbelievable amount of laughter, tons of new happy family memories, lots of art, maybe love, and a healthy, tumor-free dad.

To all of my Mizzle Adventures followers, fans, and greatest supporters, have a safe and fun New Year's Eve!  I wish all of you a happy, healthy, successful, and fulfilling 2013! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Be Stronger

I have been meaning to update this blog on a more regular basis.  I have been considering returning to my daily posts and daily drawings and see how long I can keep it going this year. But it has been very difficult to find things to be positive about right now.  I know life could always be worse and that our nature is to view the grass is greener on the other side. I find this scenario strange.  I've never had difficulty seeing others in difficult heartbreaking situations. I feel for them and can maintain an objective point of view where their hardships never took a toll on my own emotions. But to see my parents so vulnerable has taken such a toll on me.  I experienced this a little 2-3 years ago, when both parents lost their moms. I saw them in a completely different way.  I have always known my parents to be strong and unbreakable.  Losing their parents revealed the cracks.  Right now, those cracks are huge holes. They are both unbelievably strong, but now I see the fear in their eyes and hear the sad tone in their voices.  It is hard to see and hear the truth they worked so hard to keep from us.  I think I'm doing as well as I can be in this exhausting situation, but I'm tired of people's words of comfort "stay strong," or "be the strong Nadia I've always known you to be." What they don't understand is that I'm always the strong one.  I'm always the one people rely on.  I'm tired of "being strong."  For once, I would love for it to be okay for me to be fragile. This is where my art comes in.  My art, along with my cats, seem to understand my need for vulnerability. It is in my art I'm allowed to be whoever and however I want to be.  Art does not have an opinion.  It listens and it heals.
I began by creating a new drawing for my dad. For the past year, I have been creating charcoal drawings of old Native American photos. This is the 3rd of an on-going series.

I also made a painting for my best friend.  I wasn't sure what to create for her, so I just let the painting take control.  It turned out well and she loved it!  I found it interesting the words she used to describe it.  She said it made her feel hopeful, calm, and uplifted.  I also found it interesting her view of the fairy v. an angel.  She said an angel made her think of death, but a fairy made her feel hopeful. I kind of agree because fairies hold a child-like innocence.  I can't think of an instance where fairies are feared.  Angels on the other hand can be thought of as miracles, but can also be associated with death. 
I enjoyed the freedom I felt in creating the painting for my best friend that I decided to start another one.  Here is another, but it is still in progress.

I have this desire to work on specific projects, but I just can't seem to get myself to work on them.  I find myself looking for distractions or other projects to fulfill my need to create, but not the ones I should be working on.  I have just finished creating 3 new Mizzles and have a few more in progress.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I have noticed that every once in a while a theme(s) appears in my life.  Sometimes they are very subtle and I don't realize it existed until it has passed.  Then there are times, like now, where they are blatantly obvious.  This month's theme is "reflection."  It is time for me to sit down and look at where my path has taken me this year.  This last half of the year has definitely taken me a little off course. 

First of all, I'm unbelievably grateful for the life I have.  It is not perfect, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I love the challenges life throws at me and the people who come across my path.  I love the friends and family, who have strengthened me by showing me how much they believe in me.  I know my life would not be as colorful as it is without all of their wonderful personalities!

This year began on a positive note.  I began this blog and started my "well-intentioned," but not entirely realistic drawing a day.  I am proud to say that I lasted a lot longer than I had truly anticipated.  I figured I'd putter out around February, but it was around May that the daily drawings came to a halt.  The drawing became more difficult to complete daily because it was around that time things at work began to change.  My department chair announced his retirement and decisions had to be made.  I then took on the challenge of becoming department chair, teaching AP studio art, and I moved to a different classroom.

Changes didn't end there.  Some changes were not so good, but there were a lot that have been great.  The not so good news was my dad had a tumor in his liver.  He's doing well, but it looks like this is going to be on-going issue.  The great news began with my first nephew, Noah, being born on Friday the 13th!  He is an absolute cutie and is going to be extremely spoiled!  Then the unexpected happened.  As I prepared to attend the SCBWI summer children's conference, I was contacted by a representative from RawArtists.  They had found my ETSY shop and wanted me to participate in one of their shows.  To be honest, I was hesitant. I wasn't sure if my work was strong enough.  Also, they really loved my Mizzle dolls, and wanted them to be displayed in the showcase.  After talking to a friend, I decided that in participating in showcase I really had nothing to lose.  This led to a second show and being nominated as one of their Semi-finalists for their annual RAWards.  Although, Mizzle Adventures did not win at the competition, it was a great experience.  It showed me a few things.  One, how much I finally believe in myself and my artwork; Two, what I'm truly capable of achieving; and lastly, it made me realize I didn't have any idea of what kind of outcome I wanted from showcasing my work.  Originally, I just wanted allow the journey to take its own course and see where it would take me.  As much fun as that has been, I think it's time to make some more choices, but about my career as an artist.  What is it that I truly want to achieve as an artist?  And where do I want to see it take me?

The interesting part is that my school qualified to apply for distinguished schools. In addition, this means we are able to apply for another award, which is an Exemplary Arts Program.  For the past few weeks, my department and I have been putting together information about our department to apply for it. I didn't think writing this document would be as difficult as it has been.  I know we are a strong Visual and Performing Arts program, but it has made me notice that we don't have any particular goals for our department.  We don't have a true vision of where we want to go.  I think we have all shared ideas with one another about things we think would be great, but we have never put anything into effect.  I think we all have ideas of what we would like to see happen in our department, but we have never sat down together and verbalized it out loud. When this process is said and done, whether we win this award or not, it has been a great opportunity for us to reflect on the state of our department.  Now we can have a real conversation about short and long term goals for our department.

With 2012 coming to an end and 2013 peeking at us from the horizon, it is a good time for reflection.  It is the perfect time to look at our flaws with complete honest and to take the time to figure out what we need to do to make ourselves and our world better. It's a good time to be thankful and appreciative for what we have and the people in our lives.  And it is the time to make choices about our future.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Coloring Contest Winners

 For our first coloring contest, I am going to call it a success.  It was fun seeing all of the entries come in.  I am hoping to hold another ALL AGES coloring contest either for Valentine's or Easter.  So, stay tuned for updates!

Now for what everyone has been waiting for!  Here are the winners!

It was a difficult choice for my judge.  All of the entries were great! We didn't have any entries for the age category of 4 and under, so I transferred those prizes to the ages 5-11.

For Ages 18+ our winners are:
John, age 23
Jessica, Age 18

For Ages 12-17, the winners are:

Jeanine, Age 16

Geovanna, Age 17

Lastly, the winners for Ages 5-11 are:

Diego, Age 7

Logan, Age 7

Tais de, Age 11

Ryder, Age 8

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Coloring Contest Prizes

This is the last week to get your entries in for the Mizzle Adventures coloring contest.  You can either scan or take a photo of your entry and email it to  I'm looking forward to seeing all of the entries.  I thought I'd share with you some of the possible prizes for the coloring contest.

Possible Prints to choose from:

Mizzle Prizes:

Meet Fable. He is bee whisperer; listening to the cares and concerns of all bees. He loves to eat honey with lemon juice. In his spare time, he loves drawing lines in sand.

Meet Miss Lava. She is a Mizzle beauty pageant winner. Her personality resembles that of a Stepford house wife...perfect in every way. But secretly, she loves to play in mud.

Meet Lady Dragonfly.  She is a sophisticated Mizzle, who enjoys all of the finer things in life.  She folds napkins into cranes, lines her tea cup settings with doilies, and irons her curtains.  But when no one is looking, she loves to grab a hairbrush and sing to heavy metal songs in front of a mirror.

Meet Otis. He is an energetic Mizzle, who loves to cut silhouette portraits of people using extremely sharp scissors. He is faster than Edward Scissor Hands, and way cuter. In his free time, he enjoys taking long bubble baths and making bubble sculptures.

Meet Jamina. She loves to make up songs, which detail her daily activities. In her spare time, she enjoys helping bees collect honey.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Coloring Contest Update

I am beginning to get entries for the coloring contest. I am going to wait to post them, but I promise I will post all entries and the winners on this blog.  I am loving these entries!  I can't wait to see what else people have for me!

Just a reminder, you can download the images from

The last day to submit your entry is December 14th!

Good Luck!